Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of December 16, 2021

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Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of December 16, 2021

This week’s highlights include 8th Grade Info Night – Tonight, Courageous Conversations Forum – Tonight, Covid Vaccine and Testing Opportunities, MHS Key Club Coat Drive, and more.

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

There are some important events taking place in Milton tonight that I want to call your attention to. While there is some time overlap, the hope is that all who would like to can participate in some form.

Milton High School Grade 8 Information Night starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Milton High School Auditorium at 25 Gile Rd. This is an opportunity for current 8th grade students and their families to tour Milton High School and to learn about MHS course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school.  This event will be about an hour (including tour). If you are unable to attend, the presentation and a virtual tour of the building will be provided.

From 7: 00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., there is a virtual community forum being sponsored by Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice and the Milton Public Schools. Because the challenges we are facing are not isolated to Milton Public Schools, this is a community event and all Milton residents are invited to attend. You can register for the forum here. Courageous Conversations has several expert speakers that are available tonight and with the approaching holidays and busy school calendar, unfortunately, this event overlaps with 8th Grade Info Night by 30 minutes. I have asked to have the forum recorded to be accessible to all MPS families and the speakers and Courageous Conversations have graciously agreed. All details can be found here. 

Another valuable meeting planned for tonight is the monthly SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) meeting. This meeting is abbreviated in order to allow people to attend the community forum above. If you are interested in attending the SEPAC meeting on Thursday, December 16, 6-7pm  , the Zoom link is here.  

As your Superintendent, I am proud of our collective response to the challenges we have faced over the last several weeks. Our district has 4400 students, almost 3000 families and 600 staff members. Meeting the diverse needs of all of these important stakeholders is difficult and important work, and I am beyond appreciative of our teachers and staff, students, families and administrators who continue to work together to meet our challenges head on.

Next week will be the final week of school this calendar year and it’s a full one! We are in school for four full days next week, and the last day of school is Thursday, December 23. Before the break, join us at MHS on December 21 for the MHS Cabaret at 6:30 PM in the MHS Auditorium – a great night of music from our students and staff! Enjoy a talent packed variety show of musical acts including our Christmas Carolers, Pretty Sharp, A Cappella ensemble, Little Big Band, Flute Choir, solos, duets and small bands all directed by our very own MHS music students. There is a $5 donation requested at the door which will support our “Sponsor-A-Lesson” initiative. You don’t want to miss this show!

The MHS Key Club is holding a Coat Drive this Saturday December 18, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. in front of Milton High School. Students will be collecting rain or shine. All new or gently used coats will be donated to the “Coats for Kids and Families” Program sponsored by Jordan’s Furniture and Anton Cleaners. Thank you for your support.

As a reminder, December  24 – January  2 is MPS Winter Break and classes resume on Monday, January 3.

School Committee

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 6, 2022 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

The Milton Health Department is hosting more Moderna Booster Clinics. The FDA has approved that individuals can mix and match 1st and 2nd doses series with boosters. If you had Pfizer or the J&J vaccine, you can still receive a Moderna booster vaccine. Clinics are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We hope you will join us!

You are eligible for a booster vaccine if you have completed your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series and are 6 months from the last vaccine administration or are 2 months out from receiving the J&J vaccine. All information and links to register can be found on the Town of Milton website. 

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The Town of Milton is hosting free, drive-thru COVID testing days on Sunday, December 19 and Sunday, December 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.  All are welcome

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For the time period of Thursday, December 9 – Wednesday, December 15, MPS had 20 positive student cases, and 1 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Dec 16 MHS Information Night
  • Dec 16 Courageous Conversations Forum
  • Dec 21 MHS Cabaret
  • Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
  • Jan 3 Classes Resume
  • Jan 6 Preschool Information Night (Virtual)

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

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Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration – Begins Monday, December 13, 2021. This link to pre-register is live. 

High School Happenings

Recently, the MHS Debate Team debated in the Princeton University National Tournament. Participants came from all over the United States and Canada to compete. There were over 300 participants in the Novice Tournament and Tucker Korman and Sam Boucher were Octo Finalists at the novice level and placed 11th overall. This was an incredible feat for our small team. Congratulations to Tucker and Sam!

Pierce Pages

Recognizing Positive Community Members: Each month at Pierce, we recognize students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness. Teachers nominate students and one student from each grade is selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Travis Chen, Avery Squiciarino, and Vivian O’Neil who were honored for the month of November!

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It was wonderful to see our community come together to cheer on our Pierce Middle School Ensembles from 6th, 7th and 8th grade, returning on stage for a long awaited Winter Concert 2021, after a long hiatus.

A big shout out to Dawn Sykes (Chorus Director), Debra Miller(District Orchestra Director) and Guillermo Ortiz (Band Director) for guiding our students to this excellent performance. Special thanks to Gingy Grimes for accompanying on the piano.

The excitement was palpable, our students are so talented and their diligence shined  – we are so proud of them. Well done!

Inside Our Elementary Schools

Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders are giving back this holiday season. As part of Unit 4 Reach for Reading: Lending a Hand, students are doing good deeds and spreading kindness in their neighborhood and community. Students have picked up trash at Turner’s Pond, delivered cookies to the Milton Fire Department, sent treats into the staff at Brigham and Women’s,  delivered surprises to neighbors and more.

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Tucker students in first and second grade looked at artist Ted Harrison for inspiration for these beautiful textured polar bears. Ted Harrison (1925-2015) was born in England, but relocated to Northern Canada in 1967, where he became inspired by his surroundings to paint the landscape of the Yukon. His artwork is easily recognizable for his bright, contrasting color palettes and swirling, whimsical lines. Harrison also was known for illustrating children’s books. Our students did a wonderful job on their versions below.

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Last Call For December Vacation Camp!  Camp is for Kindergarten – 5th grade  and will take place Monday, December 27 to Thursday, December 30  from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cunningham/Collicot. Tuition is $250.00 for all 4 days.  The deadline for registration and payment is tomorrow, December 17. For registration and payment, please visit the MCS website. Contact Milton Community Schools at [email protected] with any questions.

Food Service

On  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, MHS students can visit our made to order deli bar. We use Old Neighborhood low fat and low sodium deli meat to assure your children are eating the healthiest deli meat including a variety of meats such as turkey, roast beef, and buffalo chicken.  Add in our assorted whole grain breads and fresh vegetables for toppings and you’ve got a terrific sandwich! A visit to the deli bar counts as one free lunch, which all students are entitled to every day.

Do you need flexibility and want to work the same hours your children are in school? Food Service is hiring substitute positions for $17.28 an hour. Please contact Jackie Morgan at [email protected] if you are interested.

For more recipes and updates, follow us on Instagram at @miltonfoodservice or on Facebook at Milton School Food Service. All lunch menus can be found here.

Family Resources

In an effort to support and foster a strong home-school connection MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Milton Public School Resource Guide we will be highlighting local community resources families may find beneficial in our Family Resource Newsletter.  If you need additional assistance 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.

SEPAC

The Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Milton SEPAC) shares the following information.

ParticipateYouth Recreational Bowling, January 13th – March 31st

Milton Sports for All, a recreational, inclusive sports program, is offering candle-pin bowling this winter at Cunningham Hall.

The program is open to kids in grades 4 – 8 who reside in Milton. Bowling will happen on Thursdays from January 13 through March 31 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. for grades 4 and 5 and from 5:30- 6:15 for grades, 6, 7, and 8. No experience (or bowling shoes!) is necessary. Candle-pin bowling uses smaller balls which are easier for kids to bowl.

The registration fee is $20 and registration will be open until December 31.There will be a maximum of 24 kids in each time slot.Should the program be oversubscribed, participants will be selected by lottery and refunds will be given if not selected.(Please note that bowling is loud! If your child has any sensory issues, you’re welcome to send them with noise-cancelling head-phones or any other resource they might need.)

You can register on-line here for grades 4 and 5 and here for grades 6 – 8. You will be notified the week of Jan. 3 whether your child can participate in the program. Thank you and see you in the lanes!

Milton Sports for All is a volunteer group of parents and community members who believe that sports should be fun and accessible to all kids regardless of background, experience, or ability.We welcome new volunteers!Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends.

Advocate: The next SEPAC Board meeting is TONIGHT.  This meeting is abbreviated in order to allow folks to attend the community forum on race. Thursday, December 16, 6-7 p.m.  Zoom Link

Educate: Advocating Over the Long Haul: Handling Stress and Staying in the Game

Milton Foundation For Education

It’s the MFE’s 25th Anniversary! Help us celebrate our anniversary by joining our Annual Appeal Campaign to give $25 for 25 years.

An education from the Milton public schools is the foundation for excellence and the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been helping lay those foundations for 25 years with well over 50,000 students. Help us celebrate the MFE’s 25th year by taking part in the annual giving campaign! Donations from generous supporters like you have helped fund initiatives in all six Milton schools and every dollar donated to the MFE helps spark innovation and energizes the learning experience for students and educators in Milton. Your gift, in any amount, is welcomed and appreciated. All details and the link to donate can be found here.

Athletics

Congratulations to our 13 Patriot Ledger All-Scholastics!

  • Chase Vaughan (football)
  • Amari Marsman (football)
  • Isaiah Hassell (football)
  • Ben Catudel (boys golf)
  • Alec Carew (boys cross country)
  • Donovan Murray (boys cross country)
  • Christina Sullivan (girls cross country)
  • Norah Affanato (girls cross country)
  • Christopher Roden (boys soccer)
  • Justin Gomes (boys soccer)
  • Nora Walsh (field hockey)
  • Katie Eckardt (girls volleyball)
  • Molly Shea (girls volleyball)
  • Sophia Manning (girls volleyball)

Our Winter Season is officially underway. Please take a look at schedules posted on our website.

Community News

Milton Parks and Rec  – Intro to Recreational Irish Step!

This is a non-competitive program open to Milton elementary school students in grades K-3. The program will be held on Thursday nights at Cunningham Hall (located at 75 Edge Hill Rd.)
Registration (linked here) will be available on December 15th at noon.  All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library’s December calendar can be found here. Plan ahead and take a look at the January calendar here.

Join the MPL’s Winter Reading Challenge during the month of January!

From January 1 to January 31, Milton Public Library is participating in Beanstack’s Fifth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. “Read for a Better World” encourages readers of all ages to explore diversity, empathy, and action through literature. We challenge our patrons to read at least 10 books during the month and keep track of their reading on our Beanstack site. All ages are welcome to participate! Pre-register today at miltonlibrary.beanstack.org . Happy reading, Milton!

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High school students are invited to attend the next Milton Minds Matter meeting – Tuesday, December 21st, 7pm at the Wildcat Den.  Join us for fun activities while learning about reducing stress from your peers.  Milton Minds Matter is a community-based, youth led, chapter of Our Minds Matter, a national organization that is working toward a day when no teen dies from suicide through help seeking, social connectedness, self-care and healthy habits, and pro-social skills.

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Learning Through Play Preschool Playgroup Series: Was your child’s preschool opportunity prevented or interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic? The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a FREE 8-week Preschool Playgroup Series which may work for you. We will meet on Saturdays, January 8 through February 26, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at 101 Blue Hills Pkwy. in Milton. This program is for children who are 3 and 4 years old with their parent/guardian. It will be facilitated by Dotty Alexander, Ed.D., Professor of Education at Curry College and will focus on language, social/emotional, and fine and gross motor skills. Completion of the Ages & Stages questionnaire will be required and the pre-registration link is here. . This program has limited space, so we ask that you commit to attending all 8 sessions. This program is funded through the Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton Community Health Grant. Please email [email protected] with questions.

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Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs.  Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register.  The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).

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Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8.  Register now at this link.  Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link. 

Thank you to by blog contributors this week: Anneka Cheema, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Tanya Walsh, Jess Gillooly, Kathleen Kelley, Kim Coughlin, and Bill Fish. 

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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