What a fantastic trip we had to Washington, D.C.! Highlights from the trip included walking tours of the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, FDR Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. We spent one morning engaged in service learning with the Anacostia Riverkeepers. Our students worked to pick up over 60 pounds of trash from the riverbanks and surrounding parks! We were transformed by our visits to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Although these were emotional experiences, our students leaned into their discomfort and spent hours walking through the exhibits with their eyes and hearts open. And they left each museum with a greater understanding of why it so important that each and every one of them never stops asking “why?”
The students were excellent ambassadors for Milton. They listened to the tour guides, followed directions from their chaperones, and kept their eyes and hearts open to everything we experienced. Many people we encountered along the way—chaperones from other schools, tourists, and museum officials—complimented our group on their comportment. They were so, so happy throughout the entire trip; their delight in being together as a group was evident to all.
And finally, I am so impressed and inspired by the chaperones—Barbara Benitez, Samantha Cristoforo, Jacqui Hardaway, Josh Kronenberg, Sharon Mathieu, Tom Troy, Melissa Vazquez. They were attuned to students’ emotional and physical needs at all points of the trip. And it was clear that the relationships students had developed with their advisors all year helped them feel comfortable and engaged—even during the most emotional parts of the trip. Specials thanks, in particular, to Josh and Sharon for co-organizing this year’s trip. Josh and Sharon have spent countless hours getting ready for the trip and they really did think of everything. They could easily make a living as professional tour guides! (But don’t tell them I said this; I don’t want to give either of them any ideas!)
I hope you all have a chance to talk with a student or faculty member who attended the trip. You will delight in hearing about each person’s pivotal moment, key takeaway, or lingering question.
To all of you celebrating Easter or Passover, best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday.
News and Announcements
Staffing Updates: I have a few staffing announcements that I would like to share with you.
- Emily DiDonna, Grade 7 English teacher and Grade 7 dean, is departing Milton to pursue a principal fellowship through the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College, in partnership with the Boston Public Schools. We are all grateful to Emily for her work in the English classroom, her leadership as dean, and her involvement with our culture clubs and affinity groups. We wish her the best of luck with her new endeavors.
- Sonya Conway, Grade 6 social studies teacher and Grade 6 dean, will take a sabbatical in the fall semester of the 2019–20 school year. She will return to her position in early February.
- Meg Burke ’91, our K-8 director of admission, has accepted a position as director of admission for the Tenacre Country Day School in Wellesley. Meg, who worked in Milton’s Upper School admission office for 10 years, has spent the past six years guiding Middle and Lower School families through the admission process and working collaboratively with faculty to support families through the K–8 experience.
- After 10 years leading our Middle and Lower School communication efforts, including five years as Lower School dean and parent liaison, Marlena Alex will leave Milton to become the head of Lower School at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline. Marlena began her Milton tenure as a parent and active parent-volunteer, evolving into a transitional consultant for the K–8 admission office before moving into her current roles.
- We are hiring a Middle School music teacher who will lead the chorus, advise in the Middle School, and provide vision and direction for our Middle School music program. We are also hiring a resource teacher who will support the social growth of students, implement school-wide systems, and assist with supervisory duties.
- Beginning in fall 2019, the administrative structure of the Middle School will no longer include grade-level deans. This restructuring will allow all faculty to focus on their work related to curriculum and instruction as well as their roles as facilitators of student activities, affinity groups, and culture clubs. Communication to families and students will flow directly from me, the dean of students, and faculty advisors.
We will have an opportunity at the end of the year to celebrate our departing faculty and staff, but for now please join me in thanking them for their many contributions to Milton Academy.
Interested in being a Host Family to a new student? Our K–8 Office of Admission invites you to join in welcoming new families by participating in the host family program. Through this program, current families are paired with newly admitted families to help answer any questions they may have and ease their transition to Milton. Although there are no specific requirements for host families, click here for a document containing more information about the role and how host families may choose to connect with a new family. Click here to indicate if your family would be willing to host for a newly-enrolled student and their family. We will gather the responses and make the pairings in the coming weeks. At that time, host families will receive an email from our office with information about their assigned family. If you have questions, please contact our office. Thank you in advance!
–Meg, Corey, Katie & Whitney
Grandfriends’ Day—Grandparents and special friends are invited to experience a morning at Milton Academy enjoying a continental breakfast, visiting classrooms, and attending a special assembly on Friday, May 10. Invitations are in the mail. If your special visitor has not received an invitation, contact Caroline McCourt. Click here to view the invitation and response card. Click here to respond on behalf of your guests.
Grandfriends’ Day Volunteer Opportunity—We are looking for volunteers from across our Lower and Middle Schools to help Grandfriends’ Day run smoothly. Roles include greeting in the lobbies of the buildings, providing directions between buildings, etc. Click here to be a Grandfriends’ Day volunteer.
The Week Ahead
Grade 7 Field Trip, Monday, April 22—International Museum of World War II
MS Parents’ Association Book Club, Tuesday, April 23, 8:20 a.m., Ware 101
Weekly speech Team Practice, Tuesday, April 23, 4:30–5:45 p.m. Ware Hall
Looking Ahead to Middle School, Thursday, April 25—this event is intended for our current Grade 5 families
Orchestra Concert, Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m., King Theatre
Foley Fest Speech Tournament is looking for volunteers! Sunday, May 5. Prior experience with Speech or Speech events is not necessary. All are welcome! Click here to sign up. If you have any questions about the tournament schedule, please reach out to Yoshi Makishima, or our parent coordinators Lisa Wilson and Kerri Polimeno.
ERB Testing week of April 29—We will administer the ERB’s Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) to all students the week of April 29. Each grade will complete all testing in one day: Monday, April 29 (Grade 6); Tuesday, April 30 (Grade 7), and Thursday, May 2 (Grade 8); Friday. There is no test preparation needed except for ensuring that students’ Chromebooks are charged and that they’ve had a full night of sleep before their testing date.
Add These Dates to Your Calendar
Parent Coffee: Math Department, Tuesday, April 30
Foley Speech Tournament, Sunday, May 5
MS After School Program
The After School Program is available Monday to Friday from dismissal until 5:45 p.m. The Middle School ASP is open Monday through Friday—Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3:30–5:45 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday from 2–5:45 p.m. (unless otherwise noted on the Milton Academy Calendar). The program closes promptly at 5:45 p.m. If you are unable to pick up your child by this time please notify firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-898-2537. Students who have not been picked up by 5:45 p.m. will be escorted to Cox Library by an ASP teacher where they can wait for rides.
This year’s Middle School ASP Ice Cream Sundae Party was even better than the last! There was an amazing variety of flavors and toppings. Students were able to be creative with their ice cream sundaes. The music and games were great additions to the party. Thank you to all that attended!