Progressing Equitably: October 7, 2021
Acknowledging and Exploring Our Performance, Systems, and Structures From an Equity Lens!
Equity has been at the forefront of the district’s work. Superintendent James Jette and the Equity Department have articulated a clear, concise, and urgent message. Equity is non-negotiable and the district will prioritize serving ALL learners of ALL identities.
Here are some updates on the district's journey (in September) to becoming a more equitable school district:
The Steering Committee has had our first meeting of this school year. During this meeting, the committee worked on defining Equity in the context of the district. We have a really good draft. The committee will continue to meet and start a deep dive into the Quality Review Through an Equity Lens and other district data.
The district data team and Equity Department led calibration sessions around MCAS data trends with the district leadership teams, curriculum teams, and school base teams. The focus of these calibration efforts were around identifying the performance outcomes within each school, grade levels, and the district. The teams calibrated a 4 year trend of achievement scores for all the different subgroups in the district. Each team will continue to calibrate other pieces of data such as Lexia and I-Ready to help them develop school improvement, professional, curriculum and/or student achievement goals.
The curriculum team is currently running a book group with the book Grading for Equity. There has been many discussions on what grading from an equity lens looks like. Kudos to the department/curriculum heads for doing some of this work over the summer.
The Superintendent is developing goals that focus on equitable access and closing the dis-proportionality gap around student performance.
The Anti-Racist Action team will be recruiting new members to help build and implement an Anti-Racist Policy with the district.
Restorative practices efforts - at the middle and high school - continue. A plan for implementation will be developed with schools to help redefine the district's "discipline" approach and support systems.
Kimberly Coughlin and her team are working tirelessly to make sure the "test and stay" process and protocol are conducted through an equitable lens.
The Special-Education department in partnership with each school's Leadership teams are looking closely at their current systems, structures, and processes in hopes of determining the root causes for the disparities and dis-proportionality among our Differently-abled Learners.
The district is continuing its effort to construct and implement a district wide process and protocol - aligned to the Massachusetts Department of Education- for reviewing curriculum through an equity lens.
- The English Language Learner's team has iterated their systems for communication to better reflect the fluid needs of our English Language Learners and their families.
- The Equity Department worked with the School Committee - Sub Committee for Policy - to iterate on the Anti-Racist resolution (originally passed in 2020) to be more inclusive to ALL identities that have been racially oppressed.
This is going to be a very long - never ending - journey of becoming a more equitable school district for ALL learners. We have had a packed September intentionally and purposefully setting an equity tone for the year. There will be challenges, mistakes, successes, collaborations, discourse and many points of iterations in this process. We most likely will not do this work with perfection but we - 100% - expect progress.
Working on Equity with an Inclusive Lens
The Milton’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) represents families of approximately 800 MPS learners on IEPs and 504's. To learn more about how to get involved, engage, advocate or just be a learner, please contact Jenny Sheehan and Jennie Mulqueen.
Equity is about supporting the needs of ALL learners. It is time we work collectively to ensure that Differently-Able Learners are included in ALL.
In addition here are a couple resources to start your inquiry:
October brings about falling leaves, pumpkins, costumes, memorable moments and lots of candy. For those who observe and participate in Halloween, the excitement of costume picking, a night out with ghost, superheroes, and witches, and trick or treating can bring about so many opportunities for making memories with your little ones.
Halloween is the one night where it is fun to pretend to be someone or something else. Halloween, celebrated in America on October 31st, is one of the oldest holidays derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals. Did you know that Halloween originated from Ireland? In Ireland, there are bonfires, snap-apple (apple on a string), bobbing for apples, costumes, and candy.
For your convenience, here are some resources to jumpstart your inquiry:
- History of Halloween
- Jack O'Lanterns an Irish Myth?
- Inspiration behind Sleepy Hallow
- 6 Things You May Not Know About Pumpkins
A very popular component of the American Halloween tradition is the celebration of the dead. Excitement around horror films, ghost, spirits, and the supernatural becomes a central focus for many during this day. Here are some examples of other cultures who celebrate the dead. Mexico and other Latin countries celebrates - Día de los Muertos- the Day of the Dead. An opportunity for them to honor deceased loved ones and ancestors. Coco, a movie by Disney and Pixar, captures the essence of Dia de los Muertos around family, love, and traditions. The Khmer people celebrate Pchum Ben. A 15 day festival where every year the souls of their ancestors are released for 15 days. "In Khmer, the language of Cambodia, Pchum means 'to gather together' and Ben means 'a ball of food'. Pchum Ben, also called 'Brochum Ben' is the most important festival in the Khmer religious calendar. The day is a time for Cambodians to pay their respects to their ancestors of up to seven generations."
October brings about many occasions for celebration. Here are some cultural events celebrated around the world during this month.
Here are some October religious holidays observed around the world.
- October 4th: St. Francis of Assisi
- October 5th: Pchum Ben
- October 7th: Mysore Dasara
- October 7th: Navratri
- October 9th: Sukkot
- October 10th: Pastor Appreciation Day
- October 12th: Maha Saptami
- October 14th: Maha Navami
- October 15th: Vijayadashami
- October 19th: Milad an-Nabi
- October 20th: Valmiki Jayanti
- October 31st: Reformation Day
To keep up to date with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at MPS, check out other editions of the Behaving Equitably Newsletters.
The Milton Public Schools
The Town of Milton is a contemporary suburban community in eastern Massachusetts that prides itself on tree-lined streets, rich diversity, and acres of protected open space. Milton is unique in that it has the most privately and publicly conserved land within 20 miles of Boston, giving the town a bucolic atmosphere in close proximity to the cultural and business opportunities in the Greater Boston area. Milton residents have quick access to major highways such as Routes 128, Interstate 93 and Interstate 95. Residents can also access the Red Line into Boston via the Mattapan Trolley.
In 2019/2020 school-year, The Milton Public Schools served just over 4,400 students in four elementary schools: Collicot Elementary School, Cunningham Elementary School, Glover Elementary School, and Tucker Elementary School; one middle school- the Pierce Middle School; and one high school- Milton High School. In addition, Milton offers a developmental preschool, before and after school programs and summer school programs. Relative to other suburban school districts in the Metro West and South Shore areas of Massachusetts, the Milton Public Schools is uniquely diverse, proudly serving students with the following demographics- 13.1% African-American; 7.5% Asian; 5% Hispanic; .1% Native American; 68.8% White; .1 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; and 5.4 % Multi-Race (doe.mass.edu). In addition, approximately 12% of our students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch (FRL), 26.4% high needs, 16% students with disability (SWD), and 2.1 English language learners (ELL).