Office of Pupil Personnel Services

February, 2022, VOl. 1

Welcome new Staff

The district welcomes Speech Therapist Tai Diamond. Tai joined us mid February and will be supporting the preschool. Tai replaces Judy Fleming who is departing this week.

Welcome to Lani Verges-Raddack. Lani will be the k-5 District wide 504 Coordinator. She will resume oversight and Chairing of the students in elementary education who have a 504 Accommodation Plan.

Here are some contacts and email links: for your record, as there have been some staff changes this year:

High School: Tracy Grandeau

Middle School: Grade 6: Suzanne Shaw

Grade 7&8 and Special Programs Sue McCabe

COllicot: Donna HIllary

Cunningham Kathy Lapierre

Glover: Elizabeth Bowen

Tucker Maggie Wagner

Preschool Jayme Szymczak

Out of District: Suzanne Shaw and Lyndalee Sheridan

Our Tourette SyndromeWorkshop with Sue Conners was a great success

If you didn't have a chance to catch her presentation, here is the link:

Updates from the Restorative Justice Coach Adina Schecter

For the past few weeks I have been getting to know students, teachers, families, counselors, and administrators across the district, listening and learning about the strengths and challenges of each school community. I had the opportunity to present to the faculty at each school about the philosophy of restorative justice, the reason we want to use restorative justice to address racial justice in our schools, and how restorative practices can create more equitable responses to conflicts when they arise. I have begun to model and facilitate the circle process with staff and students across all the schools, with a specific attention to student populations who are at risk for experiencing the negative consequences of traditional disciplinary systems. The circle process is one way to empower a school community to address a conflict, listen to different perspectives, and find a way forward that meets the needs of each participant. I am in the process of developing a Restorative Justice Toolkit for the MSP community that will help school staff use restorative practices as a proactive relational strategy to create a culture of connectivity in addition to a reactive strategy to repair harm. Finally, I am preparing to launch a Professional Development series after the February break called "Creating a Foundation for a Restorative Culture" where participants will learn more about the history of restorative justice, the intersection between restorative justice and racial justice, and how to use the circle process to bring restorative justice to life in their particular context

Updates from the Early Learning Coach, Lauren Vanacore

This past month, my kindergarten students have been diligently working to strengthen their phonological awareness skills. Over the last month, they've focused on recognizing rhyming words, blending and segmenting syllables, and identifying the initial sounds in words. They've also been building background knowledge and vocabulary about Arctic animals and current holidays. They are working so hard! We're very proud of them.

I'm also working with preschool staff to plan interventions for students whom we've identified as benefiting from extra support to develop their early literacy and learning skills. I'm looking forward to starting to work in preschool classrooms next week.

On the 2/2 early release day, paraprofessionals engaged in professional development about phonological awareness skills and strategies to support students in classrooms. Our paraprofessionals are very dedicated to their students and were eager to learn some strategies to help them.

Finally, I'm using grant funding to purchase diverse books to add to preschool and kindergarten classroom libraries and teachers' read aloud collections. Teachers are excited about further diversifying their classroom libraries and are now submitting requests of books they know their students will love reading!

DESE Feedback on Special Education in Milton:

The purpose of this letter is to notify you of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (the Department) local special education determination under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Milton Public School District Meets Requirements (MR).

Annually, the Department is required to identify each LEA’s specific needs for technical assistance or intervention in the area of special education. The Department is required to assign each LEA one of four categories: Meets Requirements (MR), Needs Assistance (NA), Needs Intervention (NI), and Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI). In prior years, the special education determinations were aligned with LEA accountability levels unless additional performance and compliance measures, specific to special education, warranted a change in the special education determination. In an effort to ensure that the Department’s Special Education Accountability system is a transparent process focused on data that most impacts outcomes for students with disabilities, the Special Education Determination process was revised in 2021. The Department developed the Special Education Determinations Rubric to calculate each LEA’s determination level. The rubric specifically considers the following:

  • 5-Year Cohort Graduation rates for students with disabilities;
  • Annual Dropout rate for students with disabilities;
  • Public School Monitoring special education compliance data;
  • Problem Resolution System special education complaint data;
  • Performance on Special Education State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Indicators; and
  • Data and findings of Significant Disproportionality.

Each LEA is evaluated using a rubric and, based on the overall score, placed into one of the Special Education Determination categories. As described in the determination rubric, final special education determinations reflect both performance and compliance in special education. This year, the 5-Year Cohort Graduation rate and Least Restrictive Environment (Indicators 5 and 6) are prioritized by the Department, and thus are weighted accordingly.

Milton Public School District earned 24 out of 32 possible points on the rubric, or 75%.

As a result of this determination, the Department is not requiring the LEA to engage in specific targeted and technical assistance activities. Please refer to the 2021-2022 Determinations of Need for Special Education Technical Assistance or Intervention memorandum for more information about how the 2022 special education determinations were made.