Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of June 17, 2021
This week’s highlights include Congratulations to the MFE Teachers of the Year, Thank you to our MPS Retirees, End of Year Celebrations, MPS Summer, MHS Awards and Honors and more.
From the Desk of the Superintendent:
Today is day 170 of our academic year and tomorrow marks the final day of the school year in the Milton Public Schools. In a typical year, many staff, students, and families are ready for a break from the day to day routine of the school year by the time June comes. I imagine that this has never been as true as it is in June 2021!
This year has been emotional and difficult for many of us as we navigated – in our personal and school lives – the realities of the Covid pandemic starting in March 2020. Some of the scars from these past 16 months will not fade quickly, others are soon forgotten with the good weather and end of year celebrations. This summer, we will continue to reflect on what we discovered this school year about how our students learn and how our school communities function and make adjustments based on that knowledge. We are not perfect and we continue to examine our practices and make changes where needed. What I personally hope to remember is the resiliency I witnessed from students and staff, the sacrifices made by many families, the kindness shown to me personally, and the community support for the Milton Public Schools that was sorely tested at times but has prevailed. Our MPS community remains vibrant and strong and we welcome your ongoing partnership as we work together on behalf of the staff, students, and families of the Milton Public Schools.
A year ago the Commonwealth of Massachusets recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday and just last night the US Congress approved a bill that would make Juneteeth a federal holiday. This year Juneteenth falls after our school year ends but the importance of Juneteeth was observed and discussed in many of our classrooms this week. We look forward to celebrating this new national holiday in our schools, as we do with many other nationally recognized holidays.
Below you will find updates on our summer programs, including summer reading and work, a celebration of our MPS retirees, many art and music highlights, our MHS Scholastic Award winners, pictures of the fun and ceremonies our 5th and 8th graders enjoyed over the past several weeks, the MFE Teacher of the Year celebration and much more. I hope you will read through and enjoy celebrating our students and staff.
Central Office and our administrative offices at MHS are open all summer, as we manage our summer programs and prepare for the ’21-22 school year. The MPS website is regularly updated – please refer to it for questions and contact information. The 21-22 school year calendar can be found here. I wish you and your family a safe, relaxing, and fun summer break, and look forward to an exceptional 2021-22 school year in the Milton Public Schools!
MFE- Teacher Of The Year
Congratulations to the MFE Teachers of the Year! Last week the MFE surprised eight deserving MPS staff members who were chosen from hundreds of nominations to be the MFE Teacher of the Year from their school. In this most unprecedented of school years, these individuals shone through with creativity, hard work, and dedication and have been recognized for their excellence. Congratulations to: Christine Hodgkins – Collicot; Amy Harris – Cunningham; Nicole Grant-Heal – Glover; Rachida Saidj – Tucker; Nawar Muhsin – District Remote; Melissa Uhlmann – Pierce; Jennie Beliveau – MHS; Jackie Morgan- Mary Grassa O’Neill Leadership Award. Please enjoy the video below which shows the well deserved surprise at each school!
All details on summer reading and work at every level can be found in the links below. All links can also be found on the MPS website. Elementary families received this email from Dr. Spaulding about Lexia and iReady. You can access that letter here.
- K-5 Summer Reading Information
- K-5 Summer Reading Registration
- Pierce Middle School Summer Reading
- MHS Summer Program
Food Service – Summer 2021
Food Service will be open every Wednesday, all through the summer, for meal pick up. Our bags will include 7 days of breakfasts and lunches as well as a box of fresh produce (fruit/vegetables) for each family. Pick up is at Milton High School, every Wednesday from 11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Please enter from Blue Hills Parkway.
Summertime Stories: The Milton Public Schools is once again partnering with the Milton Public Library and Milton Early Childhood Alliance to bring some exciting storytime programs for children age birth to 6 years old along with a parent or caregiver. Miss Sara, from the Milton Public Library, will read stories, sing songs, and delight children at four sessions held around town. On July 15th and August 5th the storytime will take place at Cunningham Park, on the lawn within the fenced area behind Cunningham Hall. On July 29th and August 19th, the storytime will take place at the Tucker Elementary School Playground, located in the back of the school. All sessions will begin at 10:00 a.m. Please bring a blanket to sit on. Registration is not required, but we invite you to sign in upon arrival. Why not bring your soon-to-be Kindergartener and have them wear their yellow “I’m going to Kindergarten” t-shirt? It’s a great way for them to meet new friends who might be in their class in September!
Milton High School, in partnership with Curry College, is excited to once again offer our Summer Strength and Conditioning Program, renamed the Summer Speed and Agility Program. Details are at this link and the link to register is at the bottom.
Health And Safety
If your student has medication in the nurse’s office, please remember to make arrangements for pick-up no later than tomorrow, June 18th. All medications left in the nurse’s office after June 18th will be discarded.
We would like to remind parents that up to date Physical Exams are required for entrance to MPS (any grade), Kindergarten, 4th grade, 7th grade and 11th grade. Up to date immunizations are required for entry to MPS and to participate in all after school activities. Please forward to your student’s school nurse. Details on immunization requirements for School Entry can be found here.
High School Happenings
Please visit our Awards website where we honor those students in our school community who make Milton High School the outstanding place it is. This spring has given us the opportunity to hold some of our more formal awards ceremonies, while during the fall and winter, we were pleased to be able to recognize our students in small groups in our hallways, or their driveways, and share snippets of their accomplishments in newsletters. Our intention is to memorialize our students’ accomplishments through this site for those who were not able to join us in person. Here we recognize the outstanding efforts & accomplishments of our students. Our school is made up of high caliber students and selecting the recipients for each award was not an easy task. Congratulations to all of our award winners posted here, and to all of our students on completing this difficult and historic school year.
Ms. Hanna shares that this year has been especially challenging for singers, as we haven’t been able to lift our voices together in song. Throughout the school year, MHS’s chorus members worked to build their independence while singing first fully virtually and then ten feet apart from each other in person. For so long, we’ve yearned for the experience of hearing our voices blend together in harmony, which has finally become a reality during the last couple of weeks of school as distancing guidelines for singing outside have been relaxed.
Chorus students learned the first verse of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the Black National Anthem and discussed the song’s role in uplifting African-American voices and history. After a year of struggle and as we approach the celebration of Juneteenth this coming weekend, the lyrics of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ring especially true. In the future, we plan to learn the other verses of the song and hope that we can incorporate the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” into events in our Milton community alongside the “Star Spangled Banner.” Please enjoy this Juneteenth Greeting from the Milton High School Chorus.
From all members of the Milton High Chorus, we wish you all a joyous Juneteenth and a wonderful summer. We’re looking forward to lifting our voices together in song again in September!
Ms. Lee’s Digital Photo students at MHS learned about the American art movement, Abstract Expressionism and the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Students were challenged to personally interpret several of Neruda’s quotes in the style of Abstract Expressionism by representing their concept through abstraction of the art elements, and spontaneously responding to their surroundings while taking their photographs. Students also created Photomontages inspired by the abstract photographer, Susan Rankaitis by combining black and white photographs they took earlier in the semester, and enhancing them with layers of color, adjustments, and blending modes in Photoshop or Pixlr. You can view more examples of student work by clicking on this Google Slides link.
Last weekend eleven Pierce students participated in a virtual Lumos Invitational Debate Tournament. Students debated the efficacy and impact of foreign aid and domestic spending by the United States Government. Students used the Public Forum Debate format to evaluate the benefits and costs of foreign aid. Students Isabella Alba, Elly Ash, Adam Cheairs, Sarah Clarke, Katherine Connor, John Griffin, Dobie Illich, Liam Manares, Margaret Mullen, Leo Waldbaum, and Ida Zoll participated in the event. Katherine Connor won the Up-and-Coming Speaker Award. Leo Waldbaum and Katherine Connor won the Up-and-Coming Team Award. The Pierce Debate Team was thrilled to participate in our first tournament after several months of practice and preparation.
Members of the Pierce Model United Nations Club participated in a student-led General Assembly on the topic of protecting LGBTQ+ rights. Students spent the weeks leading up to the conference researching their assigned country and what has been done in the international community to protect LGBTQ+ rights. Students then worked with their peers to discuss ways in which the international community can better protect LGBTQ+ rights.
A special shoutout to our eighth grade students who served as mentors, chairs of the conference (Sydney Burns and Will Malec), co-chairs (Abigail McMenamy and Patrick Kelly) as well as note passers (Colin Glazer, Leo Waldbaum, Kevin Gomes, Ida Zoll) of the conference.
Guillermo Ortiz, Pierce Band Director, shares that the Pierce Morning Band Ensemble has been working very hard this quarter. This ensemble is made up of band students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and the group meets once per week before school. Students have prepared a piece of music that they will perform on the last day of school to conclude the year with a final performance – here is a little preview of “Air for Band” by Frank Erickson performed by Pierce Morning Band Ensemble. We are really looking forward to the fall when we can resume normal band practices and performances!
Inside Our Elementary Schools
Hadley Bergeron, Lexi Donovan, and Sadie Cambria from Ms. Morris’ Glover 4th grade class had an idea to support their community by making caring bags for residents of the Eliot Community Services shelter. They organized a drive and assembled (thanks to the generous donations from the Glover community) 25 bags of essential items. We are so proud of this initiative, these three girls, and all of our Glover Kids and families for going above and beyond to make a difference in their community.
Tucker School brought back its annual Unity Night in a new format this year! Our annual Unity Night has always been an opportunity for us to celebrate the diversity and strength of our school community. This year, we were able to do the same around the theme of Be the Light in reference to Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem, The Hill We Climb.
To ensure all students could participate all presentations were all pre-recorded and put together to highlight student work, discussions, songs, dance, essays and reflections on how they will be the light to themselves, their friends, their families, their schools and the larger community! We also held an in person element of Unity Night right here at Tucker School where we were able to decorate the school with our message of how we will be the light. This work will be displayed in the school going forward in honor of Unity Night 2021!
Our evening event allowed us to display the artwork previously completed by Ms. Cynthia Smith who collaborated with the students previously on figures that represented the diversity of the community. We also unveiled the Unity Night Mural completed by artist LJ Baptiste! Mr. Baptiste incorporated the words of Tucker classes and students into his piece about what Tucker means to them. You can view the mural and learn more about Mr. Baptiste here.
A special thanks to the Tucker Diversity Committee for planning, the Tucker PTO and Art Space Milton for funding, and John Gillooly for photography, and a special thanks to the entire Tucker community for collaboration through the year and in making this special event a success!
All of Glover is enjoying the new brick patio that was installed in front of Glover. The bricks were donated by many past and current Glover kids and in honor of their special teachers. The patio is the gift from the 5th grade class. This week, retired Glover teacher Mary McCarthy came back to see her brick with some of her favorite fifth graders.
Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see her full newsletter here. This newsletter has information about the purpose of equity and diversity training, upcoming events about Equity, and the Quality Review.
Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. Congratulations on a year well done! Our thanks to all the families who support the office of pupil personnel services and our students in special education all year. We appreciate your flexibility, patience, understanding, and partnership and look forward to “normal” in the fall.
I am proud to remind the community that we blazed the trail for in person learning with our summer ESY program which opened on July 6, 2020. We were excited to offer in person learning for moderate and high needs students in September, and full day learning in November. Daily in person instruction was a focus of our work during COVID, and our thanks to the staff who made that a reality for so many children.
A shout out to our Team Chairs who worked tirelessly to ensure your student’s IEP was developed and implemented this year; to our teachers, specialists support staff, and building administrators for all their work on behalf of the student in Milton who have special education needs and to SEPAC for their continued support of our vision this year.
If your child is attending ESY, please remember to check with their teacher to ensure you have your daily supplies ready. We encourage you to send water with your student every day, regardless of which program they are attending.
Over the summer many students will take advantage of the virtual learning opportunities Milton Public Schools has provided. This is a reminder to access the Milton Public Schools Family Technology Support Help Center website to troubleshoot potential issues with a device/platform, or to educate yourself with a platform/application that you are unfamiliar with. The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google, Clever, Guardian Monitoring, Who to Contact, and more.
In an effort to help prepare students for the 2021-22 school year, we also invite all students to complete the Student Technology Boot Camp.
Please see this document for all details on the collection and distribution of Chromebooks for our remote and in person students and ALL grade levels. Families who did not purchase the optional Chromebook insurance will be charged for lost Chromebooks, lost chargers, and damage to the Chromebook outside of normal wear and tear.
All students are highly encouraged to obtain insurance for their school-issued Chromebook for the 2021-22 school year. Details can be found at this link.
The Transportation Department reminds all MPS families that registration to ride the bus in the 21-22 school year opened on June 8th and will close on June 18th. Please read the full informational letter HERE for sign up, payment information, and all links. The Transportation Department would like to remind all families that registration to ride the bus for the 2021-2022 school year closes on Friday, June 18th. Please read the informational letter shared with all families containing the details for the registration process. Please use the Unibank Link for bus fee payment and the 2021-2022 Bus Registration Link to complete the process.
The Milton Public School Residency Policy states that students in the Milton Public Schools and Out of District placements shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grade 6 and grade 9 and for students who attend Blue Hills Regional Technical School or Norfolk Agricultural School every year regardless of grade level. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. Please see our most recent communication here. The MPS Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here. Residency re-establishment will take place between June 9 and June 28.
Art And Music
Our Elementary Music teachers share the following. We wanted to reach out and give a big thank you to ¡CelebrateMilton! for our incredible books for our elementary music classrooms. We have already seen the excitement and connections made from students when opening up our new books. Students have continuously made comments that demonstrate how these books mirror their experiences and also provide windows into the lives of others. Thank you for helping us to reach this goal in our music rooms. Click this link for a short thank you from some of our students!
¡CelebrateMilton! is committed to bringing diverse people together from across the community; we are determined to help make the community more interactive by promoting a deeper understanding of one another; and we are further committed to the development of new initiatives fostering social justice, peace, and harmony within our town.
Come Be a Part of the Milton Public Schools Instrumental Music Program!
The Office of the Family Outreach Liaison is open during the summer months. Please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-980-7343 or [email protected] with any questions you might have about MPS/community summer programs, summer reading, the upcoming school year or if you are in need of a resource. All calls and emails are confidential. All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.
Milton Teens – your community needs you! Decisions are made by organizations and nonprofits that impact you and other teens, but there are often no teens contributing their ideas. The MSAPC is offering a free, two part training for teens who would like to be involved in these decision-making boards, committees, and coalitions. Getting involved in decision making on a community level gains you valuable experience and skills, looks great on a resume or college application, and is also great for Milton. Training starts next week. Community service hours are available. For more information and to register, please visit our website or this link.
Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.
- Softball will host Braintree in the preliminary round of the MIAA Tournament on Friday, June 18th at 3:30 p.m.
- Boys Lacrosse will travel to Apponequet Regional HS in the 1st round of the MIAA Tournament on Friday, June 18th at 6:00 p.m.
- Baseball will host the winner of the Greater New Bedford RVTHS v Pembroke game on Monday, June 21st at 4:00 p.m.
- Rugby will host the winner of the Lincoln-Sudbury v Marshfield game on Thursday, June 24th at 5:30 p.m.
- All Tournament Brackets can be found here.
Milton High School, in partnership with Curry College, is excited to once again offer our Summer Strength and Conditioning Program, renamed the “Summer Speed and Agility Program”. Details are at this link and the link to register is at the bottom.
2021 FALL ATHLETIC TRYOUT INFORMATION
- Registration will open July 1st – Information found here.
- Sports offered – B/G Soccer*, B/G Cross Country, Football, Field Hockey*, Volleyball*, Golf*, Swim, Cheer*. (*denotes cut sport)
- Football & Cheer Tryouts begin Friday, August 20th
- All other fall sports tryouts begin Monday, August 23rd
- Tryouts will run right until school starts on Wednesday September 1st.
- Students are expected to attend any and all sessions.
- Schedule of times and locations will be released on July 1st.
Last night, the School Committee and MPS Administration recognized our ten MPS retirees for this school year. These dedicated educators and support staff gave countless hours to the students and families in the Milton Public Schools. I am personally appreciative of each one of them and the years they dedicated to our schools. We wish them all the best in retirement!
Carol Hunt, Food Service: According to her co-workers, Carol Hunt always came to work with a smile and her smile was contagious. She found joy in her work, her co-workers and especially the students. She is known for how she dressed up and enjoyed every holiday. Her friends agreed that Mrs. Hunt did everything she could to make children smile and she treated all students as if they were her own children. Please read more about Ms. Hunt here.
Jeanne Sgroi, Nurse: Collicot Principal Holly Concannon stated that Jeanne is the unsung hero of the Collicot School. She knows every child by name and has formed exceptional relationships with students and families. Jeanne has a gift of deciphering between illness and a need for comfort. She is able to address both with professional care and a nurturing way. Jeanne has consoled students and families alike. Please read more about Ms. Sgroi here.
Joan Dow, Teacher: Ms. Dow began her career with the MPS in 2001 as a Substitute for elementary art/music. During her tenure she has held the positions of instructional aide, permanent building substitute and substitute teacher before beginning her career as a teacher at Cunningham Elementary. Over the years, Ms. Dow has also taught at Pierce and Collicot before moving to Glover as a grade 5 teacher in the co-taught classroom. In the co-taught, she worked her magic to help all of her students grow, learn, and thrive. During this school year, Ms. Dow was instrumental in providing our grade 4 and 5 students with their remote learning.Please read more about Ms. Dow here.
Mary Bodkin, Teacher: Principal McDavitt stated that Mary takes care of her students like they are her own children. She has created a safe space for so many children to be themselves and she has celebrated their individuality in so many ways. She has dedicated herself to many different school-wide pursuits over the years, including Union representative, Student Leadership Team mentor, Grade Level Facilitator, and more. Please read more about Ms.Bodkin here.
Dr. Glenn Pavlicek, Assistant Superintendent: Dr. Pavlicek was the “go to” person for many of us. His wealth of knowledge on school related matters, town related matters, personnel and legal issues made him an invaluable asset to the Milton Public Schools.
When congratulating him on his retirement, words such as dedicated, trustworthy, brilliant, honorable, compassionate, nurturing, quick witted and kind were used to describe Glenn. Principals and administrators commented that Glenn was always the voice of reason. He was the steadying force that kept the ship afloat and headed in the right direction! What a wonderful tribute to a genuinely wonderful man. Please read more about Dr. Pavlicek here.
Mary Downey Tipping: Principal William Fish stated that Mary’s calm presence and kind demeanor is a welcome addition to our classrooms and schools, and one that will be missed. Mary has consistently brought a strong commitment to supporting students’ unique needs to each role she has held. We wish Mary all the best for a long and healthy retirement with her husband, children and grandchildren. Please read more about Ms. Downey Tipping here.
Mary McCarthy, Teacher: Principal McDavitt stated that the magic of Mary McCarthy cannot be captured in words. It is simply impossible. Mary was the quintessential first grade teacher. She was everything a first grade teacher should be and more. She grew brilliant readers, prolific writers, and masterful mathematicians. But more importantly, she taught her children the importance of hard work, of perseverance, and truly shaped their character in ways that are indescribable. Please read more about Ms. McCarthy here.
Alison Joyce, Nurse: According to Director of Nursing Kim Coughlin, Mrs. Joyce is an outstanding school nurse with impressive knowledge of the school aged student. She is often complimented on the calm, safe and healthy environment provided to students and staff in the nurse’s office. As a valued member of our health services team, especially in this incredibly challenging year, Mrs. Joyce has been an excellent resource to the Cunningham community. We wish her the best in her retirement. Please read more about Ms. Joyce here.
Barbara Pakalnietis, Business Office: Barbara was a dedicated employee and quite often would be one of the last cars out of the parking lot, particularly on a payroll week. One principal described Barbara as being “one of the loveliest, most thoughtful individuals I have ever met. She was the consummate professional and even when we drove her crazy with questions that we absolutely should have known the answer to, she always answered with a patient and understanding smile.” Please read more about Ms. Pakalnietis here.
Mary Gormley, Superintendent: Ms. Gormley began her career in the Milton Public Schools as a teacher at the Glover School before moving on to become the Principal of the Cunningham Elementary School. Her amazing work ethic and dedication to the students and families of Milton made her the perfect choice when a position became available in Central Office Administration. Ms. Gormley was appointed as the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Curriculum for the district and worked tirelessly in that role until being appointed to the role of Superintendent of Schools in 2008.
Under her leadership as Superintendent, the Milton Public Schools thrived and became a district known for its academic excellence. She was an advocate for all students and instrumental in the success of the French Immersion Program, Full Day Kindergarten, enhancing music, art, special education programs and sports programs within the district.
We all know her undying commitment to the MPS district and to the Town of Milton. She worked collaboratively for 40+ years with town committees and departments, established partnerships with community members such as Curry College, BID Milton and Milton Academy, all to strengthen the bond between the Milton Public Schools and the Milton community. She was a driving force!
No one is more deserving than Mary Gormley to be recognized for her contributions to the Milton Public Schools. Please read more about Ms. Gormley here.
We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events.
Reading Frederick Douglass Together: The Forbes House Museum and Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice are once again partnering for a community reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Following the speech, there will be time for discussion and reflection. We hope you’ll join us for this hybrid event, with options to participate either virtually or in-person on the lawn of the museum. Interested participants can sign up to read a paragraph from Douglass’s speech. Join us on Thursday, June 24; 6:30 p.m. Reception; 7:00 p.m. Program; Sponsored by Mass Humanities. Register at this link.
Frederick Douglass gave his famous speech on July 5, 1852 at the request of the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester. He opted not to deliver it on July 4th, a date meant to commemorate our national independence. At the time, our country was fiercely divided over the issue of slavery, but the conflict had yet to escalate to a Civil War. Douglass’s words challenge us even today, as this country continues to wrestle with issues of race and inequality.
Trinity Milton Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club is sponsoring an inclusive GAA games and activities program.The Trinity Club is collaborating with the Milton Public Schools and the Special Education Program to coordinate this program. We are hoping to pilot a 2 hour program this summer with the goal of eventually running several mini sessions throughout the year. Please sign up at this link. Please email MPS Inclusion Specialist Caroline Mannion or parent contact Tom Griffin with any questions. We hope you’ll join the fun for this amazing inclusive opportunity for all students!
The Milton Art Center is offering 9 weeks of summer art camps starting June 28 to August 26 for ages up to 12, new this summer a separate program for ages 4-5. Sign up for one session or more. Each week something new to learn in drawing, painting, mixed media, clay, sculpture, and more! For more information please visit our website.
Milton Soccer Fall ’21 registration is now open for our fall 2021 soccer season! Please visit our website for information on our PreK program, Travel League and K-2+ League. Please register at this link. More info can be found here.
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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.