Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of October 7, 2021

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Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of October 7, 2021

This week’s highlights include Vaccination and Testing Information, School Committee Updates, Hispanic Heritage Month, Athletic Highlights, MHS Swing for Sports and more.

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the MHS Spanish VI class in the MHS library. The class, in collaboration with the Hispanic Cultural Club, worked on multiple presentations to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. MHS classes and staff visited the library to learn about Hispanic literature, culture, geography and more. You can read more about their presentations below under High School Happenings.

To say these students and their presentations were impressive is an understatement. They were knowledgeable, prepared, conversational and I was reminded, as I always am when I connect with students, why we do what we do. Everything we plan for, fund and implement at MPS is for the benefit of these young people – our students, your children.

It was another reminder to me to continue to stay engaged in the vibrant day to day MPS community and not get bogged down in the necessary but sometimes tedious work of meetings, emails, phone calls and more. This year, I hope to see you at soccer games and science fairs, plays and awards ceremonies and I also look forward to seeing and talking with our PreK-12 students every week at lunch, recess, classroom events and more.

I hope many of you will join me for coffee and conversation in front of Milton High School on Wednesday, October 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. This will be another informal opportunity for me to connect with MPS parents and guardians. Parking is limited during the school day but there are always free spots in the lower lots. Weather permitting, coffee will be outside and therefore masks are optional. If the weather does not cooperate, we will move inside and masks will be worn inside the building.

School Committee 

Virtual Listening Session: The Milton School Committee held a 30 minute virtual listening session prior to the October 6 Milton School Committee meeting, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  The Citizen Speak portion of a regular Milton School Committee meeting is limited to 15 minutes and this listening session was offered so parents, guardians, and community members had extended time to voice their questions, ideas, concerns, and highlights to members of the Milton School Committee.  In accordance with open meeting law, there were no responses given by School Committee members during the session itself. However, community members who shared  specific questions or action items can expect to receive follow up communication from School Committee members. Whether or not you were able to join this listening session, please share your feedback about how the School Committee can most effectively engage with you and our community.

MPS Quality Review Report and Feedback: The overarching results of the MPS Quality review were presented by Cambridge Education on July 21, 2021 at a School Committee meeting. The final report dated June 2021 was shared with the district on Friday, September 10, 2021.

The Milton School Committee will be hosting two sessions where parents, guardians and community members can share feedback regarding the final report from Cambridge Education.  These sessions will be held on October 21, 2021, one at 7:30 a.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m. More information regarding these sessions will be published as the date gets closer.

The regular Milton School Committee meeting is on October 20 at 7:00 p.m.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. 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.

Health And Safety

Proof of Vaccination: Having records of all vaccinated members of our community as well as understanding the number of students participating in the Optional Testing Program is essential.

In their most recent guidance, DESE announced an extension of the mask requirement through November 1, 2021 and more information about vaccination rates and mask wearing after November 1You can read their full communication here.

If your student is fully vaccinated and you have not yet submitted proof of vaccination, we ask that you do so immediately!

  • Email or fax a copy (a photo is fine) to your school nurse (MHS Nurse Andrea deManbey at [email protected] or Pierce Nurse Barbara Perry at [email protected])
  • Mail a copy to the nurses’ office.
  • Drop off a copy in the main office, Monday to Friday, during regular school hours.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out directly to our Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin, at [email protected] or 617-696-4470 x5517.

Thank you for your cooperation, which will aid us in fully understanding the vaccination status of our population, especially with regard to the 80% threshold.

Test and Stay: MPS is pleased to announce that our DESE/CIC nurse started at MPS yesterday and the district is starting the Test and Stay program for individuals identified as close contacts while in school only and for those who develop symptoms while at school.  Consent must be in place prior to testing.  We recommend that parents/guardians have consent on file prior to the October 12 start date as it can take up to 48 hours for your consent to be uploaded in the system. You cannot give verbal consent if the need arises for testing, you MUST have consented online previously. 

Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here. You must OPT IN to Test and Stay to participate.  You can opt in at this link.

For the time period of Thursday, September 30 – Wednesday, October 6, MPS had 3 positive student cases, and 0 positive staff cases. All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.

Educational Equity

Senior Director of Educational Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins, shares this week’s Behaving Equitably Newsletter linked here. In this week’s edition, Director Prak-Martins provides updates on the District’s equity efforts, a list of some cultural and religious days in October, and some interesting facts about Halloween.

High School Happenings

Señora Gonzalez shares that students in the Spanish VI class collaborated with the Hispanic Cultural Club and prepared a presentation and exhibit in the library to celebrate the National Hispanic Heritage Month.

While the Spanish VI class researched, studied and created their material to illustrate their presentations, members of the Hispanic Cultural Club decorated the library with “papel picado” and put together the exhibit with artifacts lent by families in the community. The exhibit was set up so that students could visit at their own pace.

During the presentation attendees had an opportunity to learn about the Hispanic & Latinx celebrations, food, customs and traditions as well as the unique contributions of recognized Hispanic & Latinx individuals to our society. Students learned about the “la quinceañea, la semana santa, el día de los difuntos” , etc., as well as traditions and customs people practice during these celebrations and of course the food.

Students presented about the literary work of well recognized authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Elizabeth Acevedo, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz, and more.  Other students presented and discussed the artwork of Diego Velasquez, Frida Khalo, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Fernando Botero,  and José Clemente Horosco.  Students also had the opportunity to learn about some of the  people who have used their voice and fame to promote social justice and human rights like Shakira, Rigoberta Menchu, Cesar Chavez and others.  And of course, all students learned about the origin of the Hispanic Heritage Month and some recent facts concerning the growth and influence of the Hispanic and Latinx population in the United States and in the community.

This project was the reflection of this year’s theme: “Esperanza” A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. Despite some challenges, all students worked diligently to show and share their appreciation of the Hispanic cultures with the hope that by understanding other cultures students recognized their shared values, customs and traditions and embraced each other.

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For Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, students in Ms. Hanna’s adaptive music class have been learning about music from Mexico and Cuba. They started by listening to traditional mariachi music and identifying instruments that are prevalent in the style and then continued to experience music from Mexico through movement activities, responsive listening, and Spanish singing games.

Next, they read the story “Drum Dream Girl” by Margarita Engel. The story is about a little girl from Cuba who dreams of playing the drums, inspired by real-life Cuban drummer, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Students have been working on their own drumming skills using bucket drums and had the opportunity to try out the types of drums described in the book – conga, bongos, and timbales. Inspired by the Drum Dream Girl’s passion for drumming, students also reflected on their own passions to share with the class.

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The Milton Coalition has established a youth coalition called the Milton Youth Advocates for Change (MYAC). One of MYAC’s initiative was the Milton Minds Matter, a community-based group focused on promoting positive mental health for high school teens led by high school teens.

There are 4 open student leadership positions. These students will be paid a stipend for the work they do in between October to April. You can apply for one of 4 available leadership positions: Co-Presidents (2) Secretary/Outreach Coordinator (1) Underclassmen Representative (1). All details can be found here. 

Pierce Pages

October 2nd was National Custodian Day, a day devoted to expressing our appreciation for the unsung heroes that keep our schools clean and safe. At Pierce, we recognize and thank our wonderful custodial staff – Mr. Mike Buzzell, Mr. Nelson Taylor, Mr. Bernard Jette, Mr. Tom Ranton, Mrs. Janice Wilson, and Mr. Jon Scherer – for all they do for our students, staff and school. Our 8th grade art students created a banner and drawings of each of our custodians as a token of our recognition and appreciation.

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Students in Mr. McElhinney’s Civics classes have been studying democracy and the Constitutional Convention. In class, the students held a mini Constitutional Convention and created a profile of its delegates.

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Mr. Manning’s art students are diving deep into “Inktober”. Inktober consists of 31 drawings in 31 days and the website provides a drawing prompt for each day. Students have been pushing their creativity by drawing in ink each day for 15 minutes. Even though drawing in ink leaves little room for error, drawing in ink has been proven to sharpen your drawing skills. Stay tuned for more of these unique ink drawings as we work our way through the month!

Inside Our Elementary Schools

Glover students in Ms. Brandi’s kindergarten class are learning about the parts of a tree as part of the Trees and Weather unit in FOSS science curriculum. In this unit, students learn about trees and weather over the course of several weeks. They diagram the parts of the tree, compare leaves, play matching games to learn leaf shapes and have fun working together on a weather calendar and recording temperature.

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Our first group of Tucker students got to use the book vending machine! These students were awarded tokens because they exemplified good citizenship, kindness towards others and demonstrated the Tucker Way. Thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for funding the Tucker book vending machine with a grant during the last school year.

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It was Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day with smiles all around!

SEPAC

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) will launch its year with a FCSN (Federation for Children with Special Needs) workshop on Understanding Your IEP,  Tuesday, October 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Please check out our slides for the zoom link: SEPAC 2021-2022 Info Slides.

We look forward to welcoming Tracy Menoza as our new Collicot SEPAC representative. Thank you, Tracy, for stepping up into this important role!

Milton Foundation For Education

The Monster Dash 5k, Fun Run & community event falls on Halloween this year! Join us on Sunday, October 31, at Cunningham Hall. Register now! 

Deadline Tomorrow: Monster Dash Art Contest! Do you want to see your original, Halloween-themed art on over a thousand T-shirts at the Monster Dash? Well, then get out your black sharpies, an 8.5×11 white paper and your creativity! No tracings or printed material, bring your submission and permission form to your school office by October 8th.  All details can be found at this link.  We can’t wait to see your spooky designs!

The MFE has been organizing the Monster Dash for over 20 years. It is a beloved community event that memorializes Sam Cichello, a Tucker Student who died in a tragic playground accident. Sam loved science so the Monster Dash funds raised go toward science in all 6 Milton public schools. Save the date and start planning your costumes!

Athletics

  • The Swim Team is still undefeated! They beat Needham on Tuesday to improve to 6-0, and they won diving again.
  • The Boys Soccer Team beat Norwood 9-1 on Monday, before dropping their next game 1-0 in a very good game against Walpole. They sit at 4-4-1 halfway through the season.
  • Ben Catudal, Johnny Gillooly and Sam DiSandro will be representing Milton at the Bay State Conference Championships at Framingham Country Club on Friday, October 8th. Good luck to those 3 golfers!
  • The Cross Country Bay State Invitational was very successful on Saturday. The Girls placed 2nd overall and the Boys came in 3rd!
  • Girls Soccer will host Newton North tonight at 5:30 p.m. and it is Youth Soccer Night.
  • Football is back at home tomorrow, Friday, October 8th at 6:30 p.m. They will host Weymouth, looking to improve to 4-1.

Registration for Swing 4 Sports is now open! Foursomes are filling up fast so reserve your tee time today. Join us October 18 at Granite Links in support of Milton Boosters and its plans to build a safer, ADA compliant Press Box. Register at this link. 

Check out the MHS Boosters new merchandise at the MHS football game on Friday night! These will be limited edition items, so when you see them for sale – don’t wait!  All proceeds support our student athletes. Cash, check and credit cards are all accepted. Thank you for your support!

Community News

MHS Student Leaders have a deal for you! Make eating a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support Milton High School Leaders. Come in to The Plate  10 Bassett St (the Fruit Center Marketplace) on Saturday, October 9 between 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Bring in this flyer, show it on your smart phone or tell our awesome retail staff you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 15% of the proceeds will be donated to Milton High School Student Leaders. Thank you for your support!

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Come support the Milton High School Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams at our Kids Trail Run at Cunningham Park on Sunday, October 24. There are different races for students in K-8th grades and it is a great opportunity to experience cross country. Registration is $10/person and starts at 10:00 a.m. on race day. We hope to see you there!

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Pull out your flannels for the Forbes House Museum’s Barnfest! Tonight 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – it’s not too late to purchase advance tickets for the Forbes House Museum’s Barnfest. Enjoy a crisp fall evening listening to live music by Kings of Ghost Town and enjoying local food and craft beer. Tickets are $25 in advance and include your first pour, proof of age required. $30 at the door and kids are free.

Look for the party lights by the barn, behind the museum at 215 Adams Street. Sponsored by Molloy Lawn & Landscape. Proceeds from the event benefit the Forbes House Museum’s cultural and historical programming.

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The Milton Coalition: The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is now The Milton Coalition: Addressing Substance Use and Promoting Mental Health! Find information about all of the events below on our website. 

Join Team Milton Coalition on Saturday, October 16 10:00 a.m. at the Collicot and Cunningham Schools on Edge Hill Rd for Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse.  We are proud to work with Mike’s 5K to end the stigma of Substance Use Disorder and to build friendship and community among people who have been impacted by this disease. 

On Friday, October 22, The Milton Coalition is offering a free training on Youth Mental Health First Aid.  This 6 hour course is for people who work with or live with 12 – 18 year olds.  Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan that includes initial help to young people showing signs of mental illness or crisis and how to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care.  Consider using corporate paid time off if available for this volunteer opportunity.  Free lunch and snacks will
be provided.  Register online here. 

Saturday, October 23 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The Milton Coalition, along with the Milton Police Department, will be hosting a drug collection site at 40 Highland St. Milton.  Studies showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.  Clean out your house of unused or expired pills.  You can bring them to the police department on Saturday the 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or use the kiosk in the police department lobby, available every day.

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The Milton Public Library offers fun and free programs for kids almost every day of the week!  Their October calendar can be found here. To learn more and to register for programs, please visit the MPL website. 

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Join the fun at the Columbus Day Street Hockey Tournament on Monday,  October 11 at 8:00 a.m. at the 
Skip Lapworth Rink at Kelley Field.  
$20.00 per person to play, there is also a $20 raffle to include 4 Club seats at Boston Bruins Game on October 30.  All Proceeds will benefit MHS Boys and Girls Hockey Teams. Please contact Mike Vaughan for more information at 617-763-8118 or [email protected].

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Fall Newsletter is bursting at the seams with four pages of free fun for families with children! You can read all of the details here and read about an upcoming event below.

Stories and Friends Meet Up and Scavenger Hunt – Are you a family new to town? Do you have a new child? Do you just want to meet and connect with other families with young children?  Do you care for your grandchildren and want to meet others? Then, join us for our Stories and Friends Meet Ups. We’ll be holding four sessions in the great outdoors where you will have the opportunity to meet other families, enjoy reading a children’s story, participate in a scavenger hunt, and enter our free raffle to win a nice gift! Registration is not required; however, you will need to sign in to be entered into our free raffle. The final session will be held Thursday, October 14th at 10:30 am at The Trailside Museum. We hope to see you there!

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Superintendent Shoutout

Congratulations to MHS seniors Gabriella Brown, Barron Clancy, Lucia Dwyer, Christopher Le, Ian Lundeen, Ben Malisheski, Max Mitchell, Isabel Murley, Matthew Paquette, Myles Phung, Calidore Robinson, Stella Yuan and Chloe Zhong who have been recognized as Commended Students for their high scores on the PSAT/NMSQT. These students received Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. We are proud of these young people and are always happy to see them recognized by others!

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.

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: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

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