Milton’s performing arts faculty and students found creative solutions to bridge distances and time zones to offer a full slate of performances this fall, including the plays Macbeth, The Illustrated Bradbury, and this weekend’s Class IV play, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.
Performing Arts Department faculty member Eleza Kort, who directed the Class IV play, said about one-third of the 15 cast members are international students, so meetings and rehearsals were scheduled to accommodate different time zones. Each student received a green screen and filmed themselves performing in front of it. Faculty member Shane Fuller edited the scenes together to look as if the actors were in the same place. The show opens Thursday, October 29.
Milton athletes are working hard this fall season, practicing both remotely and on campus, despite the absence of regular team competition. All fall teams began the season remotely and coaches had to think of creative ways to keep athletes moving and connecting with each other.
Boys’ cross country coach Scott Bosworth said the team “approached this strange season with the same commitment and determination as in past seasons. We had active and engaging Zoom meetings where we talked about the challenges we face with the pandemic, motivational tools to get us through, and the need to stay together and be supportive of each other. We watched videos about Wilma Rudolph and Billy Mills, two athletes who overcame huge obstacles—physical, economic, racial, and substance abuse—to become Olympic gold medalists, and we had lively discussions afterward.”
“The soccer season has been great thus far in spite of the different forms it has been taking,” said coach Chris Kane. “We have a large and passionate group of soccer players and we used the remote learning period to build connections across students across the various levels of our program.”
Student volunteers are busy connecting weekly and remotely with Milton’s Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) partners. Over the next few weeks, CEPP will launch new volunteer opportunities: Children’s Center Zoom story time, Cunningham School lunch chat group, Quincy Community Action Program ESL tutoring, and a Cantonese chat group for Randolph senior citizens with two students Zooming in from Asia. Student volunteers are also planning a Zoom music recital for residents at The Boston Home. And the CEPP student board is working on reimagining the School’s annual Hunger Awareness event, which will take place in November.
Christian Westphal ’21 is on the CEPP board and volunteers with a few other students at Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA), a nonprofit based in Boston that empowers Latina girls and women through free classes and social services.
Milton students in several humanities classes will join those from six other Massachusetts schools in studying climate change and climate justice through the humanities during this year’s Humanities Workshop.
Teachers from the participating schools decided to focus on climate issues because they permeate many different aspects of life, including economic and racial inequality, human migration, and public health.
“There is a sense that climate change is just a science problem, which of course is not the case—it’s a human problem,” said Milton faculty member Alisa Braithwaite. “If our climate dies, so do we. We wanted to bring the concepts of humanities disciplines together to create a narrative that helps people to see that climate change is an urgent, human problem, one that we should be learning about and fighting for from every corner of our world.”
Thank you so much for participating and asking questions at our monthly meetings. The meetings are a great way to learn about the school and get to know other parents. They feature a guest speaker and are followed by discussion. Meetings will be held virtually until further notice. November meetings will be held on the following dates (more details to follow):
Wednesday, November 4
Mindfulness Training with Sarah Stuart, Founder and CEO of Really Mindful Group, LLC
Tuesday, November 10
Monthly update from Rod Skinner, Dean of College Counseling
Tuesday, November 17
Peg Reardon, RN, Director of Nursing
Please note that all meetings will be recorded and emailed to parents after the meeting for those who are unable to attend. We respectfully request that you not share the recordings beyond the Milton Academy parent community.
The faculty, parent, and student events sponsored by the USPA are made possible by your generous contributions of time, funding, and gifts, as we are a self-sustaining organization led by volunteer parents and supported primarily by parent dues and donations. Thank you!
Please note, we are still in search of parents to volunteer! Please contact Lee Peterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help or learn more.
Comfort food is having a moment and science faculty member Heather Zimmer is showing students how to make it at home on a weekly cooking show. It’s part of the new Opt-In Program, where faculty host casual and fun Zoom sessions such as trivia nights and current event discussions.
The Opt-In Program started earlier in the semester after a few faculty members and student head monitors Eliza Dunn ’21 and Garvin McLaughlin ’21 thought about ways to keep the strong sense of community at Milton while in a remote/hybrid environment.
Zimmer said she and her husband, the head chef at 2nd Street Café in Cambridge, loved cooking with students when they lived in Norris House and this is a fun way to replicate that experience. On their first episode, they taught students to make mac and cheese from scratch.
Award-winning writer and investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe ’94 spoke with students and alumni about his work, particularly his New York Times bestseller Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. His talk was part of the Milton in the World webinar series.
Radden Keefe said he knew when he was a Milton student that he wanted to be a writer, but it took many years of rejection letters before he began writing professionally. Today, he is a staff writer at The New Yorker, writing long-form pieces that dive deep into a range of subjects, “from the hunt for the drug lord Chapo Guzman to the tragic personal history of the mass shooter Amy Bishop and the role that the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma played in sparking the opioid crisis.”
Ten Milton students participated in the Harvard WECode virtual conference last weekend. Caroline Wilson ’21 and Dina-Sara Custo ’22 served as Milton’s student ambassadors, and were two of the 21 (out of 80) student ambassadors who received WECode Leadership Awards. Prior to the event, they connected virtually with the Harvard WECode board, as well as other ambassadors from around the world to spread information and help organize.
At the conference, “We had the opportunity to listen to discussions surrounding STEM majors, internships, college admissions, college life, and other opportunities for women in technology,” said Wilson. “Even after the conference, we continued to connect with women in tech from the conference via channels on the platform Slack.”
When planning for this year’s biology classes for both remote and hybrid learners, faculty had to get creative and choose labs that worked at home, said biology teacher Michael Edgar. And while teaching hybrid/remote science is different, he said it’s about “letting go of expectations. When I’m with my students, I like to make the best of it and I have had some really nice moments with my classes.”
In Advanced Biology, a senior elective course, students are growing C-ferns, a regular lab for the class. But this year, students, whether learning remote or hybrid, are growing them at home with kits the biology department put together and mailed out.
Milton’s teachers spent the summer months planning and training for a variety of possible academic scenarios during COVID-19. Professional development programs and other Upper School initiatives focused on student-teacher connections, technology, curriculum design, anti-racism, transparency, equity, and assessment. Although the increased summer work was prompted by the ongoing pandemic, much of the planning will serve Milton long after the pandemic ends. Indu Singh, dean of teaching and learning, provided an insight into some of the initiatives in this Q&A.
Milton Academy’s priority is offering a safe and robust educational experience, wherever learning takes place. Inspired by the diligent work of Milton’s community to prepare for this school year, an anonymous challenger came forward to match Milton Fund gifts directed to COVID-19 readiness, up to $100,000. Will you rise to the challenge? Please visit www.milton.edu/donate to make your gift today.
Milton Presents Macbeth
This fall, Milton’s performing arts department presents Macbeth. Rehearsed and filmed over Zoom—with remote actors spread across six states—the production combines video, effects, and original music to create the dark, vengeful, and mystical world of Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy. The show is being released in six episodes posted weekly throughout the fall, with the first episode premiering last Friday.
Watch the first episode here.
During Milton’s virtual Parents’ Weekend, school leaders led a Family Forum discussion over Zoom. In case you missed it, click here to watch a recording of the event.
Making Music Together While Apart
Members of Milton’s orchestra perform Bill Wither’s Lean on Me.
Milton’s a cappella group, Epic, performs Tell Him.
Student Art Projects
Milton’s visual arts faculty share these images of work created by their student artists in class.
Click here to view more projects.
Sam Stayn ’24 carved this masterpiece for his entry in this week’s pumpkin-carving and costume contest hosted by Milton’s Student Activities Association. There’s still time for your student to enter the contest. Just email a photo of your student’s pumpkin or costume to SAA@milton.edu by midnight on October 31. Winners of the Amazon gift card prizes will be announced on Monday, November 2.
Student Guides Lead the Tour
Student volunteers lent their time, talents, and knowledge of Milton Academy to help the Upper School Admission Office launch a new virtual campus tour earlier this month. Thanks to these student ambassadors, prospective families will now hear voices of real students guiding them through the buildings and outdoor spaces of Milton’s beautiful 125-acre campus.
View the virtual tour.
Making a Difference
The curiosity to ask why and the courage to speak out are qualities that lead to innovation and change. Milton Magazine‘s fall issue features individuals who embody these qualities. Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to share their views, they are making a difference—in their professions and in the world. Read the magazine online or in print.