Behaving Equitably

Remembering and Learning: Sept 9th, 2021

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Ultimately JUSTICE!

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What Happened? What's Next?

The town of Milton is a diverse community with a public-school system that is among the top performers in the Commonwealth. The Milton School Committee and Superintendent James Jette are committed to leading the Milton Public Schools – in partnership with families, staff, and the community – in becoming an anti-racism school district. As an educational institution it is imperative that we serve as models to the school community with regards to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Although many learners go on to be successful in college and career, this experience is not shared by ALL. To better provide ALL learners with the same high-quality opportunities, we need to assess whether our systems, policies, pedagogies, practices, and behaviors are aligned to living our mission. Is our "how" aligned with our "why?" Is our "how" helping us reach our "what"? MPS is committed to creating a school district where the opportunities for all stakeholders are more equitable and attainable as we grow and move forward.

To help ensure that the district is working towards becoming a more equitable school community,

MPS in the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Has hired the Senior Director of Education Equity in December of 2020,

  • Is working on developing an anti-racist resolution,

  • Is looking closely into the root cause(s) and developing a theory of action to address the disproportionate disciplinary and special education classification among learner’s of color,

  • Is working on incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the district’s strategic plan,

  • Is undergoing a curriculum review through the lens of equity, and

  • Is working to develop an anti-racism action team.

In addition, MPS has also undertaken a comprehensive quality review through the lens of equity (QREL) to better understand our strengths and areas for growth around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the district. The QREL review process occurred between January, 2021 to June, 2021. MPS hopes that the report will be ready to be released in the fall of 2021. The review was facilitated by Cambridge Education, an independent consulting company. In pursuit to model an inclusive process to a diverse perspective, MPS has recruited guardians/parents, community partners, students, staff, and community members to apply to be part of the Quality Review Steering Committee. The selection committee consisted of parents, guardians, community partners, and district personnel conducted a rigorous and collaborative selection process during June 2021. A steering committee of nine members was established. The role for this committee is to guide with the development and implementation of the QREL and the action planning process for the district.

While this Systems QREL provides a current picture of MPS' equitable practices, it is important to realize that equity is an ongoing JOURNEY for an indeterminate time that will require active, civil, empathetic and responsive engagement from all Learners (parents, guardians, community members, partners, staff, and students).

To keep up to date with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at MPS, check out other editions of the Behaving Equitably Newsletters.

Preparing and Implementing the First Day/Week of School

Upon my first day/week visits to schools. I witnessed lots of amazing educators actively welcoming the learners back into the space. During our summer planning, the district focused on thinking about the different needs each learner will have especially after a pandemic and (to many) isolating year.

Here are some questions (from an equity lens) that were explored:

  • How can we best transition ALL our learners back into the space? What are the different needs?
  • What Social Emotional Learning (SEL), cultural, academic and behavioral challenges should we proactively plan for? What are these plans and what do we need to put them in place?
  • What interventions plans should be in place to redirect behavior? How can these plans be restorative and not punitive?
  • Are our current "school base rules, policies, and practices" culturally responsive and inclusive?

Learning Loss or Unfinish Learning!

We are now entering a new phase in the pandemic. At this point in time, there are still so many questions that just do not have definitive answers. One of the biggest question educators, school systems and parents will look to better understand is the question around content, standards, and skills acquisition during the 2020-2021 school year. Did our learners lose their learning or did they not finish?

In March of 2021, Mara Rodriquez shares why we should approach the aftermath of the pandemic from an 'unfinished' versus a 'loss' perspective. She writes, "When something is lost, control over it is often no longer in your hands. However, when something is unfinished it suggests a project that’s not yet complete but can be (Rodriquez)." The article makes a case for educators to prioritize standards and skills the learner needs in order to access this year's curriculum. Rodriquez states, "The key is we want to address unfinished learning not just because we want to “check boxes” and have every student complete everything they missed. There simply won’t be enough instruction hours in the school year for that. Rather, educators will need to prioritize learning that will help students access grade-level content and continue a successful trajectory of learning and academic achievement."

Approaching this year from a hopeful and prioritize lens can help educators and school systems individualized the needs of the learners. Working to address the individual needs of ALL learners is part of the process for making Milton Public School a more equitable school district.

To read the article in full, click on this link (“Learning Loss” versus “Unfinished Learning” and Why We Use Both).

An Historical Event That Impacted Americans!

Remembering September 11th

On September 11th, 2001 at 8:50 am, I received a phone call while working. It was a college friend I haven't spoken to in years. As I picked up the phone, all I could hear was someone sobbing. She then spoke and said "He died, he just died!" She continued and said, turn on the news. As I watched in horror the death or soon to be the death of thousands of Americans, I felt sick to my stomach. Our college friend was working in one of the towers that was hit by the plane. On this day, so many loved ones were lost. According to, " The attacks took the lives of nearly 3,000 people, and the crash sites represented the largest crime scene in FBI history."

If you like to learn more about this horrifying historical event here are some suggested resources:

In the midst of this tragedy, the people of America responded heroically. This America, is the America that we ALL deserve. People from all walks of life just helped one another. All of our differences did not matter. The heroes of that day tried to save as many lives as possible. Some didn't even consider the loss of their own life in the pursuit to save others. The Officer Down Memorial page reports that a total of 71 officers were killed during the attack. On September 9th, 2020, ABC reported that another 27 firefighters died from illnesses bringing the total number to 227 deaths after the World Trade Center Attacks. That number is in addition to the 343 that were killed on the day of the attack. The ramifications of this event still impact so many lives today. Many of these individuals do not have adequate care. The fight to demand long term equitable care to those that have had chronic health impacts while saving the lives of others is still going on more than a decade later.

Here are some amazing stories of of heroism:

Please note this is not a comprehensive report of the event. Please conduct your own research if you are seeking a deeper understanding of the cause and effects of such a massive event for US citizens.

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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.

The Milton Public Schools serves 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. All six of the district’s buildings have been rebuilt or updated to state-of-the-art facilities. 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- 14.2% African-American; 7.2% Asian; 4.4% Hispanic; .1% Native American; 69.4% White; .1 Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander; and 4.6 % Multi-Race ( In addition, approximately 14% of our students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch.