Dear Middle School Families,
Greetings from sunny California! I am writing from San Diego where I am currently attending two back-to-back mathematics education conferences.
At the start of the week, I attended the annual meeting of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). This conference attracts over 2,000 math specialists, administrators, and curriculum coordinators, from across the United States and beyond who gather to share professional guidance on teaching, curriculum and assessment practices in mathematics. As in the past several years, Milton Academy was a part of the conference program. Doana Marcellus (Lower School teacher), Melissa Vazquez (Grade 8 mathematics teacher) and I collaborated on a talk entitled, “Avoiding HIdden Hazards on the Road to More Equitable Math Classes.” Our session attracted approximately 60 participants and was very well received by the audience. Several people sought us out at the end of our talk to tell us how much they learned. (Some even said that they’d like to move to the east coast to come to Milton!)
Having given talks at conferences for nearly two decades, I can say with confidence, that this one was a hit. And I am pretty sure I know why. First, the audience was primarily composed of math “supervisors” (i.e., educators who support new teachers in some capacity) and I think they delighted in seeing Doana and Melissa speak so confidently and knowledgeably about their work. Second, we cited the relevant literature at length, which empowered the audience with data that they can use to have important conversations when they return to their schools. And third, we spoke with heart. For every empirical piece of data we shared, we also offered an example or anecdote from our own work at Milton. So it was very clear to everyone in the audience that seeking equity is our modus operandi at Milton.
We understand that asking questions like, “Is this accessible to all students? How can we support individual students in reaching our expectations? What’s standing in their way of success and how can we remove that obstacle?” is daily work that should affect all aspects of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. And that is why I love teaching at Milton where the entire community supports teachers in their professional growth, colleagues have the work ethic and courage needed to deliver a knockout presentation, and students remind us what it’s all for.
I look forward to catching up with you all next week. I’ll try to bring some SoCal weather back with me!
News and Announcements
Day of Silence—On Friday, April 12, Middle School students will observe a day of silence to highlight the silence and erasure of people who identify as LGBTQ+ in schools. Participation is optional and teachers will have “silent friendly” lessors and activities in their classes.
The Week Ahead
Oak Hill Middle School Speech Tournament—Sunday, April 7, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The bus will depart the Ware Loop at 7 a.m. Students who choose to meet the team at Oak Hill should plan to arrive no later than 8 a.m.
Weekly Speech Team Practice—Tuesday, April 9, 4:30–5:45 p.m., Ware Hall/Thacher
Grade 8 Parent Meeting with Upper School Administration—Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m., Straus Library
Giving Day!—Thursday, April 11 all day!
No Homework Weekend—Friday, April 12: Happy Patriots’ Day Weekend!
No Classes, Patriots’ Day—Monday, April 15. When we return to school on April 16, we will follow a Monday schedule.
Grade 8 Students depart for Washington, D.C.—Monday, April 15, 5:45 a.m. Please be sure to read today’s email message from Grade 8 Dean Josh Kronenberg for important information about the trip.
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.
Important message for Grade 8 Parents: US Tours for Grade 8 Parents — Paul Rebuck, Director of Enrollment, is offering a few times for current Grade 8 parents to talk about the Upper School and tour the campus. If you are interested in attending please RSVP to Nina Panarese with whether you prefer Tuesday, April 16—1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. or Thursday, April 18—8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Add These Dates to Your Calendar
No Homework Weekend, Friday, April 19—Happy Easter and Passover to those who are celebrating!
Grade 7 Field Trip, Monday, April 22
MS Parents’ Association Book Club, Tuesday, April 23
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.