Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of April 28, 2022

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Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of April 28, 2022

This week’s highlights include Congratulations to Ms. Kerri Devin!, MFE Celebration – May 7, MPDE Diversity Career Fair – April 30, Pierce Art Highlights, MSE Registration Opens May 5, and more.

From The Desk Of The SuperintendentFrom The Desk Of The Superintendent

I am pleased to share that MPS teacher Kerri Devin has been awarded the William Spratt Award for Excellence in Teaching Social Studies at the Middle School Level. As many of your children have personally experienced, Ms. Devin is a motivated, energetic and caring educator, who has made Pierce Middle School a better place for students.

Director of Humanities Barbara Wright shares that whether Ms. Devin is leading a debate about the benefits of Sparta versus Athens, or working with students to “mummify” apple slices or leading an excavation right outside our middle school, Ms. Devin is teaching students how to critically and creatively think about history. Her classroom buzzes with activity each and every day, and students are fully engaged.

As Ms. Devin leads her students through such engaging activities she is also clearly defining objectives and scaffolding each lesson to support student success. Ms. Devin has most definitely mastered the balance between creative lesson planning and exacting expectations. She spends her first months of school establishing protocols and expectations, introducing methods of writing and demonstrating techniques of close reading and annotation. Students are well trained in both content and skills, and from there she helps her students soar to new heights.

If you ask her students they will tell you that Ms. Devin is a special teacher at Pierce. In a reflection of their career at Pierce, a number of students wrote specifically about their experience in Ms. Devin’s class. One said, “I loved social studies every year, especially with Ms Devin in 6th grade. She helped me become a better writer and I had fun in her class.” Another student said “6th grade social studies was definitely the best year and Ms.Devin is one of the best and most proactive teachers I’ve ever had.”

The past two years have been among the most challenging in the last five decades, and educators around the world have adapted to the ever-changing environment in which we were asked to teach. Kerri Devin is one of those teachers that adapted, grew and succeeded. She is deserving of the William Spratt Award for excellence and we are so pleased that she has received this honor.

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Next week (May 2-6) is National Teacher Appreciation Week and our administrators,  PTOs and MPS families have plans to thank and celebrate all of our MPS teachers and staff. The entire MPS staff works hard every single day to ensure all children feel safe in school,  are engaged, learning, and challenged, have access to healthy food, and know that they are welcome and included in the MPS Community.

Our teachers, coaches, administrative staff, food service staff, nurses, paraprofessionals, custodians, and administrators have all made the decision to spend their professional lives in a school, working with like-minded professionals in the service of the children who attend the Milton Public Schools.  I know you join me in thanking them for their dedication and I look forward to celebrating the entire MPS staff next week!

This week we also celebrated our Administrative Assistants, who are often the first welcome in our schools for many of our MPS families. There are several other dedicated days, including School Nurses Day (May 11) and School Lunch Hero Day on May 6 (check out the fun School Lunch Hero video here) which we will also celebrate.

Finally, this weekend, we are pleased to be the site of the MPDE Diversity Career Fair. Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education (MPDE) is partnering with diversity recruitment expert DIVERSITY in Ed to bring together 40 school districts with openings for teachers and administrative staff for a hybrid in-person and virtual Diversity Career Fair on April 30th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. Milton, MA. All details on attending can be found here. 

School Committee

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, May 11 , 2022.  As always, all information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch regular 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.

School Committee Chair Ada Rosmarin shares the following information.

The School Committee is pleased to announce that this Spring, the Town of Milton, under the leadership of a Milton Early Childhood Leadership Team, is undertaking a new community wide needs assessment of early childhood programs and services for families with children ages Birth – Age 5.  Funded by a grant from the Department of Early Education and Care to the Milton Public Schools, this Community Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) brings together families and community partners who connect with and serve Milton families.

When the School Committee reviewed District-wide data early in 2022, it was no surprise that after two years of pandemic, there were gaps and challenges identified.  MPS has been working diligently to address the unfinished learning of our students, knowing that this will take a few years to recover.  As a School Committee Member, my first question, upon seeing these metrics, was “are we doing enough for our children before they even get here?”  In addition, we know that the pandemic has been very tough on our local preschools and family child care providers.  About ⅓ of Milton FCC providers closed their doors during the pandemic, leaving many families with Birth-2 year olds scrambling.  When this planning grant became available, it just seemed like the time was right to examine where we are and what we might be able to do about it.

The findings of the comprehensive needs assessment will help us identify a strategic path forward for a strengthened system of preschool and child care services in Milton.  Having conducted this needs assessment and strategic plan will also make us eligible for new state and federal funding for preschool, which we hope to bring to Milton.

Please watch for our work, participate in family surveys, interviews and focus groups, and if you are interested in joining our team at a Leadership Summit in late May, please let us know by contacting me, Ada Rosmarin or Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai . For more information about our project, please visit this link.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • April 30 MPDE Career Fair at MHS
  • May 2-6 Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 7 MFE Celebration for Education
  • May 11 School Committee
  • May 11 Getting Ready for Kindergarten
  • May 14 Varsity Banquet
  • May 16 Town Meeting Begins
  • May 17 MHS Spring Concert
  • May 19 MHS Music Awards Dinner

The 2022-23 One Page School Year Calendar (Draft) linked here has been approved by the School Committee.  Please note that this calendar is intended as a guide ONLY. It may be necessary to change this schedule to better serve instructional purposes.

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details on current events.  In addition, the 21-22 one page School Year Calendar can be found here.

Milton Foundation For Education

Celebration for Education is the signature fundraising and community building event of the Milton Foundation for Education. Funds raised are used to support the work of the MFE in all six of our schools. In addition to funding competitive grants in all six Milton Public Schools, funds raised this year will also go to the MFE’s initiative to help support the mental health of Milton’s students. With your support, we can make an enormous difference and continue to enrich the lives of the children in our community.

Come watch the Kentucky Derby LIVE at Granite Links on Saturday, May 7th at 5:00 p.m. 

  • The party kicks off early – starting at 5:00 p.m.!
  • Arrive at 5 to get in on all the pre-race activities. The race starts at 6:00 a.m. and you don’t want to miss any of the fun.
  • Kentucky Derby Squares and picking the winning horse happens before the race begins.
  • Visit this link to get Kentucky Derby Squares or pick the winning horse.
  • Wear bright colors – from casual to cocktail attire, but make it bright, light and fun. In true Derby tradition, wear a festive hat or tie and win our Best Hat & Tie Contest.
  •  Expect traditional derby delights: fried chicken, ham & biscuits, and so much more, not to mention mint juleps and a bourbon tasting!

Please visit this link to purchase tickets to what is always a terrific night out in support of our schools.

Health And Safety 

COVID Updates: MPS has reported 49 new student cases and 9 staff cases to DPH for previous two week reporting period (April 14-27)  with the following breakdown per school. Cunningham -8; Collicot -9; Glover- 10; Tucker-10 Pierce-2 and MHS- 3. Local and Norfolk County data can be found here: CDC COVID data tracker  and Milton COVID 19 Dashboard.

Masks: MPS remains mask optional and is following the most recent published guidance for quarantine guidance and COVID 19 testing.  DESE/DPH Protocols for responding to COVID 19.

Testing: MPS offers symptomatic testing in each school health office after receiving consent from a student’s parent/guardian through CIC Health.  To opt into this program please click here Symptomatic Testing- CIC Link. You can report positive results directly to your school here:  At home test kit positive results.

COVID 19 Testing Initiative Extended: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) are extending the statewide testing options currently available to districts and schools past April 22, 2022. DESE and EOHHS will continue to monitor factors related to COVID-19 and may make further adjustments to the statewide K-12 COVID testing options this school year. DESE stated that they anticipate following up later this spring with more information, including next steps for the summer and fall.

Vaccination: American Academy of Pediatrics, along with CDC and other local health organizations, encourage COVID 19 vaccination for all those eligible.  Current vaccination rates for those > 5 years old in Norfolk County is 82.9%.(COVID data tracker- vaccination rates by county)  Milton Public Schools reports a 76% vaccination rate for elementary students and over 80% vaccination rate for middle and high school students. Information on where to find vaccines or boosters near you Vaccines.gov.

High School Happenings

Congratulations to MHS student Emily MacNeil, who’s recent project in our Marketing course is being used by the Seaport Hotel to recruit employees!  Thank you to Maura O’Brien, Career Tech Dept and Marketing teacher, for letting our students explore their potential career paths.

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Milton High School Student Government is excited to be hosting a Spring Fling Dance for all freshmen and sophomores on Friday, May 13th from 7-9 in the MHS Courtyard. Please keep an eye out for further communication this week regarding details of the dance, ticket sales, and parent/guardian volunteer and donation opportunities.

Pierce Pages

Mr. Manning’s art classes are having a terrific year and doing some of their best work yet. 7th and 8th grade students have created some impressive graffiti as you can see below. Students learned 3 simple steps that helped them create their very own full piece. Students started with a “Tag” then moved on to a “Hollow” and then a final “Throw-up”. They designed a full piece that took a lot of time and effort and the entire art hallway is covered with their creativity.

8th grade ACE students were inspired by Caine’s Arcade and took on the huge task of creating an arcade style game using only cardboard and clear shipping tape. Students were put into groups to design an arcade game including rules, directions and all pieces. As you can imagine, it took a while to design and build,  with many challenges along the way. Students learned about attachments and how cardboard can be manipulated. Caine’s Arcade is available on YouTube and is a true heart warming story.

6th graders are currently learning about three famous Cartoonists. Matt Groening who created the “Simpsons”, Charles Schulz creator of the “Peanuts Gang”, and Jeff Kinney,  whose “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books have captured the minds of all middle school students. They are in the process of creating their very own cartoon style self portrait. It’s creating a lot of laughs for the class so stay tuned for their pieces in the coming weeks.

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Each month, we recognize students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness as Positive Community Members. Teachers nominate students and students from each grade are selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Cherrish Remy, Julie Greene, Maggie Clisham, Savannah Ennis and Tyra Petit-Frere who were honored for the month of March!

Inside Our Elementary Schools

Tucker 3rd graders recently  participated in a virtual field trip to the Boston Museum of Science.  The field trip was perfectly aligned to the Structures of Life unit, and the students loved learning more about the animals, including the hedgehog Tenrec, a chinchilla, a tortoise and an owl. Even though virtual,  the event was very interactive, and the students were able to ask lots of questions and participate in polls.

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Glover kindergarteners recently concluded a Reach for Reading unit about jobs. As a culminating activity, family members were invited into classrooms to talk to students about their jobs. Over 30 volunteers signed up to present informative and engaging “Job Talks” across 5 kindergarten classrooms. Students learned about being a biologist, photographer, artist, psychologist, CFO, lawyer, canine officer, pediatric dentist, nurse, animator and much more. Family engagement has always been a priority in our kindergarten programs and these presentations proved to be a meaningful experience for both adults and students.

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Collicot 4th graders have participated in a month-long study as part of Collicot Celebrates Poetry. They have studied poetry and poems, read and recorded poems on the padlet and shared their favorite choices with their classmates as part of the Poem in your Pocket project. The last component of our study has been writing our own poems and you can see a fantastic example by Sloane below in both French and English.

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5th Grade Families: All rising sixth graders are invited to Pierce’s “Welcome to Middle School” camp. This program is a three-day experience in which students have various opportunities to become more familiar with the school, begin to make new friendships and connections, and get comfortable with their new surroundings before the school year begins. The camp is led by Pierce staff with the help of some 8th grade student leaders. Please click here for a link to the Welcome to Middle School flier that includes information about dates, registration, and payment. The camp does have a fee but scholarships are available to families as we do not want cost to be a barrier to students’ participation (scholarship information is included in the registration link). Any questions about the camp can be directed to the program coordinator, Erin Jaquette. Families are asked to complete their child’s registration by May 2, 2022. We look forward to welcoming your child and family to the Pierce community!

Milton Summer Enrichment

I know so many of our students enjoy Milton Summer Enrichment each year, so mark your calendars because registration will begin next Thursday, May 5th at noon. Program Directors Caroline Morton and Ellen Lohan share that they are offering some really exciting new classes (Sensational Scientists, Upcycled Art, Actor’s Studio and more), as well as some old favorites like Tennis and Milton Summer Olympics. All details and sign up information can be found in the MSE 2022 Brochure.

Ready, Set…kindergarten!

We are excited to welcome the Class of 2035 to the Milton Public Schools!  By now you should have received your child’s school assignment.  If you have not yet received it please email the District’s Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna at [email protected] or call 617-980-7343.

We know sending your little one off to Kindergarten can be an exciting time that can also be stressful.  We have planned a variety of events to help you and your child with all the emotions that come with heading off to Kindergarten, not just for the student but for the adults as well.  Please visit MPS’ Ready, Set…Kindergarten!  to learn about all the events planned that will have you and your child excited and prepared for this new chapter.

Milton Community Schools

Last week, Milton Community Schools hosted 62 students for April Vacation Camp. Students engaged in a variety of fun and educational activities. Thank you to our Vacation Camp staff for all their hard work to ensure the students had such a great experience. From African Drumming to making necklaces with our names in morse code, we did it all!

Family Resources

We want to make families aware that the Milton Coalition, along with their partners MPS, MPD and BID have decided to not renew their contract with Interface Referral Service.  This service provided free mental health referral services for all Milton residents.  While this was a difficult decision, after considering the use data and the dramatic rise in the fee they were going to charge, it was decided that this was the best way to move forward.

Please visit our Family Resource Newsletter to find alternate valuable family support resources including Therapy Matcher, Compass Helpline, Quincy Family Resource Center (including Milton), Aspire Health Alliance and New Directions Counseling Center.

In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide.  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

SEPAC’s next meeting is tonight, April 28, 2022, from 6:30 p.m. –  8:30 p.m.  Tonight’s meeting is a community speak meeting and we hope you can join us!  The meeting link is here: Zoom Link.

Athletics

Please see below from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden. It’s been another great week for Milton High School Athletics!

First off, Jason Snow of the Patriot Ledger wrote an amazing article about our Crew Team, specifically the impact of Bradan O’Loughlin and Guled Adam. Both students “were voted the crew team’s two co-captains – the first two African American captains in the history of the program”. Check out the article on our Twitter Page, pinned at the top or at this link.

Boys and Girls Tennis beat Braintree to start the week, and the Girls followed up with another win on Tuesday v Rockland! Catalina Abboud has been a rockstar at first singles, winning both her matches in the victories. She also won her matches 6-1 and 6-0 in the team’s 4-1 loss to Natick last night.

The Softball Team is now 4-1 after back-to-back wins over Braintree and Natick since the break. Alona Lynch pitched against Natick, and then hit a grand slam in the 3rd inning to give the Cats a lead they would never surrender!

Boys and Girls Lax both beat Braintree on Tuesday! Lucie Lloyd-Farber has been fantastic in net for the Girls’ Lacrosse Team while Ian Wick put on a shooting display against Braintree on the road, scoring 4 goals to help them to victory.

The Milton High School Student-Athlete Advisory will host their first community service project – “Cats Clean the Cage” – on Saturday, May 7th. All spring student-athletes and coaches will help clean up Brooks Field at noon on 5/7 in advance of the Banquet the following week. A thank you in advance to the Milton DPW and MHS Custodians for their help.

The Varsity Athletic Outdoor Celebration will take place on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 a.m. at Brooks Field! All student-athletes receiving a Varsity Letter are invited! See attached for the flyer.

The MHS Boys Lacrosse team will be hosting a car wash on Saturday, May 7th from 9 am to noon at Cunningham School.

The MHS Girls Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive on Saturday, May 7th from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Milton High School.

Thank you to John Gillooly for these terrific pictures of our MHS Track Teams!

Community News

Cleaning your home out of unused or expired prescription medication is an important way to keep them away from people who might be harmed by them. Don’t flush them! Bring them to the parking lot of the Milton Police Station on Saturday, April 30. The Milton Coalition, the Milton Health Department, and the Milton Police Department will be there collecting them so they can be disposed of safely. Can’t make it that day? There is a kiosk in the lobby of the Police Department that is available 24/7.

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Join the community at “Let’s Celebrate our Kevin”, a fundraiser in memory of Milton resident Kevin Moore. Kevin was the son of Elaine Moore, who is a beloved member of the MHS Cafeteria staff and the family is holding a fundraiser to raise money for a Scholarship in Kevin’s name. Kevin died tragically in 2016 and a Scholarship was set up in his name shortly thereafter. Kevin was a kind-hearted, fun loving young man who enjoyed his family, his friends, and working with his hands. Kevin was a graduate of Blue Hills Tech and a budding electrician. Please join us as we raise money to support another student’s desire to work in the Trades. All details can be found here. 

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Milton Street Hockey is back for the 2022 spring season! All children in grades K-5 are welcome to sign up and will be placed on a team at the appropriate age level. Games are played on Friday afternoons from April 29-June 17. Cost per player will be $12 which covers the cost of a T Shirt for every player, equipment costs for the league (goalie equipment, hockey balls, refs, end of season pizza party). This is a recreational league where any and all skill level are welcome and teams are put together with the intention of parity, fun, and equal playing time. All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of May programs for kids can be found here. Join MPL in two very special upcoming events:

  • On Saturday, April 30 at 2:30 p.m., explore the world of robotics with Mad Science! Volunteers will demonstrate robotic devices and children get a chance to build a robot hand to take home. For Grades K-6.
  • On Saturday May 7  at 2:30 p.m. join Ms. Tory for Create-A-Story: Kamishibai. Kamishibai, (kah-mee-she-bye) or “paper-theater,” is a form of Japanese street theater that was popular during the 1930s. During this program we will learn all about this visual form of storytelling, and you will get a chance to create your own Kamishibai play!

Sign up today for these programs here. To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.

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On May 14 at 10:00 a.m., the Glover PTO invites the entire Milton community to a new road race, Katie’s Grace+Grit 5K. 

Katie Crowell was a dedicated member of our Milton community who gave 100% of herself in service to others. She was an advocate, a runner, a volunteer, a fundraiser, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. This amazing woman was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in 2015 while 32 weeks pregnant.

Please join us in a very special 5k so we may honor Katie and continue raising funds to support cancer charities. Come show us your Grace + GRIT! All details and registration info can be found at this link. 

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Green Up Milton: The Town of Milton and Sustainable Milton are hosting Green Up Milton Day on April 30-May 1!

In celebration of Earth Day, the Milton DPW and Sustainable Milton will be again hosting the Green up Milton this year on the weekend of April 30th! All town groups are encouraged to participate including schools, sports teams, neighborhood associations, town clubs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, churches and temples, and any other small group OR even just an individual that wishes to join in on this great event! This is an opportunity to clean up areas around town to maintain Milton’s beauty.

Now is the time to start organizing your groups and choose your Green Up area! Please sign up your team or yourself using this form. You can send any additional inquiries or questions to [email protected].  All details can be found on the Sustainable Milton website

Milton DPW will provide supplies including garbage bags, recycling bags, and work gloves. The supplies can be picked up at the Town Offices the week before the event. DPW staff will complete the cleanup by collecting all garbage and recycling bags and large debris at designated pickup locations on Monday, May 2nd. We are looking forward to a fun and productive Green Up Milton Event!

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The Milton Early Childhood Association shares their spring newsletter here. There are many programs for young children and their families offered.

Stories and Friends Meet Up – Signs of Spring: Join us for a spring adventure while we look for signs of spring, listen to stories, sing songs, and make new friends! A free At-Home Learning Extension planting kit will be given to the first 35 children who sign in. Program will be held on Thursday, May 5th (rain date May 12th) at 4:00 P.M. and is for children 2 1/2 to 6 years old. We’ll meet at the duck pond at Milton Cemetery and Arboretum located at 211 Centre Street. Program will be co-facilitated by an experienced Teacher Naturalist with over 30 years of early childhood experience. Registration is not required, however we will ask you to sign in on arrival. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Will your child be attending kindergarten in the fall? Do you wonder if your child is ready academically, socially, emotionally, or developmentally? Would you like to learn what you can do to make the transition easier for your child and your family? Then, this parent workshop is for you and is open to all parents/caregivers; your child will not need to attend Milton Public Schools to participate. We will be sharing many tips and helpful hints to make your child’s transition to kindergarten a smooth one. This workshop will be held virtually, via Zoom, from the comfort of your home on May 11th at 7:00 P.M. Registration is required. Register and obtain the Zoom link and passcode here.

Literacy Fun Through STEAM with the Easton Children’s Museum: Calling all future Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, Artists, and Mathematicians! Have loads of fun while enjoying a story and working together as a family on fun experiments. Activities will be age appropriate for children 3 to 7 years old with a parent or guardian. These programs will be co-facilitated by an Easton Children’s Museum Educator. All supplies and materials will be provided. We will be holding two sessions in person at Discovery Schoolhouse, 101 Blue Hills Parkway. Feel free to attend one or both! Registration is required and can be completed with the session links below. For families with multiple children planning to attend, please register each child separately. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this program!

Superintendent Shoutout

Tucker School is proud to share the success of Nile Hennick, Tucker 5th grader who was recently featured at the Boston Comics In Color Festival. In addition to this amazing opportunity, Nile was also previously the youngest-ever exhibitor at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo. He is an active member of the Boston Comics Roundtable, and his comics can be purchased at Newtonville Books and The Million Year Picnic. Nile’s comics were a big hit at the event for the many Tucker and Milton families that were able to attend as well as many visitors from across Massachusetts!

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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