Cunningham Connection

September 2020

Welcome Back!

Dear Cunningham Families,

Although the circumstances under which we're beginning this school year are different than any other school year we've seen, our Cunningham staff is as enthusiastic and excited to meet your children (whether in-person or virtually) as ever! Our staff is engaging in Professional Development that began on Monday, August 31 until September 15, all to prepare for your children to return on September 16 (grades 1-5) or September 21 (Pre-K and K). We cannot wait to see you, and will be creatively planning opportunities for your child(ren) to meet their teachers prior to the start of the school year. More details to come!

We encourage you to watch this video with your child(ren) for a quick tour of Cunningham!

We have been working constantly on cohort and teacher assignments and are close to finalizing them. When they are finalized, we will communicate them. All families should have received cohort assignments already.

This newsletter will provide you with some important updates to help you prepare for the start of school. We will be sending frequent communications throughout the year to keep you informed, but as always, you can reach out to us anytime with questions (,, or call 617 696 4285).

Dr. Jonathan Redden, Principal

Mrs. Bernadette Butler, Assistant Principal/Curriculum Coordinator

Well Wishes to Mary Gormley, and Welcome to James Jette!

As you likely know by now, Mary Gormley has resigned for the purpose of retirement. Ms. Gormley spent 46 years dedicating her life to the Milton Public Schools, and Cunningham was always a special place for her. She started her career here at Cunningham, and spent many years as the Cunningham Principal. She has made countless positive contributions to this district, which has had a direct impact on thousands and thousands of students. We will miss her here in MPS terribly, but she has set a great example about leadership, commitment, and dedication that we will strive to follow every day.

We welcome Mr. James Jette as our Interim Superintendent of Schools! Mr. Jette was appointed during the School Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 26. He has worked in MPS in a variety of capacities for many years, including serving as the Principal of the Pierce Middle School and Milton High School. He is truly a motivating, talented, and dedicated person who we are looking forward to working with closely this year!

Arrival and Dismissal

Let's come together to Protect the Paw! Our teachers and staff are back at school and students return next Wednesday.

Who's ready to Protect the Paw and work towards a positive and healthy return to school?

Protect the Paw is our MPS effort to energize the Milton community around making decisions that will allow our students and staff to begin the school year in the safest possible environment. Small decisions that we all make every day can have a big impact on the health and safety metrics in the Town of Milton. With that in mind, at Cunningham, we are making slight shifts in our arrival and dismissal plans. Safety is our first priority and we are hoping these changes will help students and families remain socially distant and safe while arriving and dismissing from the Cunningham School. Please share this information with anyone who may be picking up or dropping off your child(ren).We may adjust this plan as needed and will communicate any changes with you.

The expectation for families both at arrival and dismissal is that once you exit your vehicle, or walk onto school property, you and your child(ren) are wearing a mask. Please do not wait until you walk up to the school to put your mask on, and if you are using the back car line, children should be masked and ready to go before the car is stopped. Please practice safe social distance while walking to the school, using crosswalks, and waiting for children.


Integrated Preschool arrival will take place in the front circle, beginning at 8:30 (AM session) and 12:15 (PM session). Students in the integrated program will be entering through the gym doors (indicated by blue stars on the image below) and monitored by staff members while remaining socially distant in the gym.

Beginning at 8:30, students in Ms. Marissa and Ms. Colleen's program will be escorted into the building through the front doors (indicated by a purple star on the image below) by staff members.


Integrated preschool dismissal will take place at 10:45 (AM) and 2:30 (PM). Students will be dismissed from the gym doors (indicated by blue stars on the image below). Students in Ms. Marissa and Ms. Colleen's preschool class will be dismissed out the front doors of Cunningham (indicated by a purple star on the image below) at 12:00.


Upon entering the building, all students in grades K-5 will go directly to their classrooms, where their teacher will be waiting for them.

You may use the back car line to drop students off in the morning. Please ensure your child is masked and ready to go before your car stops in order to expedite the car line process. We will have staff on duty to monitor the transition into the building, and students may enter through the cafeteria doors or the back door of Cunningham which is Door 11 (if you are used to the back car line, this is the door the students typically enter).These two doors are indicated with yellow stars on the image below. Cars should pull all the way up when engaged in the back car line both at arrival and dismissal.

If you are walking to school or parking your car and escorting your child to school, we ask that students with last names beginning with A-L enter through the gym doors, which are indicated with blue stars on the image below, and students with last names beginning with M-Z enter through Door 3, indicated by a green star on the image below. This will help ensure that there isn't too much traffic in our halls our stairwells.

During arrival, bus students will be arriving in the front circle of Cunningham. After exiting the bus, students in Kindergarten and First Grade will enter through Door 6 (indicated by a pink star on the image below). Students in grades 2-5 will enter through the front doors (indicate by a purple star on the image below).

All arrival points, hallways, and classrooms will be monitored for safety by staff members.


Students can be picked up in the back car line for dismissal. They will exit the building at the end of the day and wait until their car is visible, when a staff member will monitor them entering the car. Cars should pull all the way up when engaged in the back car line both at arrival and dismissal.

Bus students will be escorted to buses by staff members and maintaining safe social distance while waiting for the bus to arrive.

If your student is not going in the back pickup line or on the bus, they are considered a "walker". Walkers will exit the building through the gym. There are three gym doorways, and we will arrange for students to leave through the three doors (indicated by 3 blue stars on the image below) rather than just one to avoid any additional traffic of children waiting to exit the building. Kindergarteners "walkers" will be exiting out the kindergarten door (indicated by a pink star on the image below). As mentioned previously, please ensure you are masked and practicing social distancing while waiting for your children.

Please know that safety is our main priority. We are looking forward to partnering with our Cunningham community to "Protect the Paw"!

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Cunningham Hours and MPS Calendar

The Cunningham School hours have shifted slightly for the in-person learning in the hybrid model. The first day of school for K-5 is 9/16 and the first day of school for Pre-K and Kindergarten is 9/21.

  • Our hybrid-model in-school hours for grades K-5 are now 8:15-11:15. Remote learning for hybrid students will take place in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00.
  • The school day (hours) for remote students is generally the same as a typical school day. Detailed schedules will be sent by teachers closer to the first day of school.
  • Our Preschool hybrid-model school hours are as follows:

Ms. Marissa & Ms. Colleen's Class:

8:30-12:00 in school/ 1:30-3:00 Remote, daily

Integrated Preschool Program:

AM Session - 8:30-10:45, (depending on your classroom assignment, 4 or 5 days a week)

PM Session - 12:15-2:30 (daily)

Please click here to find the MPS district-wide calendar. The calendar was last revised on August 13.

Cohort Calendar for Hybrid Model

If your child is participating in the hybrid model, you may find this calendar helpful for planning purposes. We have mapped out the days through December for Cohort A and Cohort B.
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Principal Redden with our Cunningham Cougar mascot!

Return to School Updates

The Return to School website is a great place to find information related to reopening MPS. The FAQ section is updated frequently and you can often find answers to your questions there. There are several recent updates on the website, including:

  • updated mask policy
  • updated immunization policy
  • Technology Support
  • Food Services Updates

We've included a few highlights from the updated mask policy below. We encourage you to visit the Return to School website so you can read the entire policy.

A face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn by all individuals in school buildings, on school grounds and on school transportation, even when social distancing is observed unless otherwise directed by this policy.

Face masks must:

● cover both the nose and mouth
● fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
● be secured with ear loops or ties (or elastic in the case of gaiters)
● allow for breathing without restriction

● be either disposable or able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape

  • The following face coverings are encouraged in Milton Public Schools:
● Surgical masks
● 2- and 3-layer cloth masks

● Face shields are permitted, but only in addition to a mask

  • The following face covering are not permitted in Milton Public Schools:
● 1 layer cloth masks
● 1 layer neck gaiters

● vented masks (masks with exhalation valves)

  • Individuals may be excused from the requirement for the following list of reasons, per CDC guidance: The individual:
● has trouble breathing;
● is unconscious;
● in incapacitated;

● cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.

In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical, behavioral or other challenge making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering. Requested exemptions will be granted on a case by case basis after receipt of Milton Public School’s Face Mask Medical Exemption Form completed by a physician. Parents/ Guardians may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver.

Updates on Anti-Racism work

The Milton Public Schools has created a new section of the MPS website dedicated to updates around our efforts to build an anti-racism school district. We encourage you to visit it frequently to learn more about the MPS Anti-Racism Action Team and Action Plan, the equity audit that will be taking place, updates about the newly created Director of Educational Equity position, and more.

As a Cunningham Staff, we participated in a book club over the summer. Staff read and discussed the book White Fragility and spent time reflecting on. their practice. We look forward to continuing this work.


The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians and staff to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here.

Click here to see the section of the MPS website that houses all updates around this work.

"See you later" to Ms. Germano

Ms. Germano has taken a Leave of Absence for the 2020-21 school year and we will miss her. Please see her message below:

Dear Cunningham Families,

I wanted to take the chance to tell you myself that I will be taking a leave of absence from the Cunningham School and MPS during the 2020/2021 school year. I am sad to tell you this information because Cunningham has always been my second home since I started in 2016. This was not at all an easy decision for me to make. Although I am healthy and my family is healthy, I do need to be with them during this time. Please know I already miss all the students at Cunningham and I think about them all each day. I look forward to next school year and seeing everyone then.

Thank you for all your support throughout each year,

Jaclyn Germano

We are very excited to introduce you to our new Adjustment Counselor and other new staff members in our next newsletter!


Due to restrictions on the capacity of buses, some changes were required to our bus procedures. We are still transporting all students in Grades K-6 who live more than two miles from their school and we will be filling other available seats (up to the limited capacity) with those who signed up last spring for transportation, are in the hybrid model, and are still interested in taking the bus.

All Riders:

  • Masks are mandatory for all riders.
  • Students may only sit one person to a seat. The only exception to this is that two siblings will share a seat. In order to provide maximum ridership, siblings MUST sit together, to a maximum of two to a seat.
  • Bus seats will be marked indicating on which end of the bench students may sit (we will be alternating aisle and window seats). Seats will also be numbered, odd numbers behind the driver, even numbers on the door side.
  • Bus passes will indicate not only the route and stop, but also the student’s cohort and the seat number to which they are assigned.
  • Buses will follow similar routes to those used last year but, owing to reduced ridership, some stops may be skipped depending on the cohort day as no students from those stops may be riding every day. Final schedules will be posted on the website. add link

Elementary Students: All students who live two miles or more from school have been placed on buses. We are contacting others who indicated that they wish to have their children ride to confirm they are still interested. At this point, it appears we will be able to accommodate all elementary students who wish to ride the bus. We hope to have these passes in the mail by the end of this week.

Community Schools

Please see these important updates from Community Schools about virtual after school enrichment options.

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Mrs. Butler's son, Shane, checking out the new Cunningham/Collicot Greenspace! Thanks to your generous donations, the Greenspace is really coming together!

Helpful Contacts

Dr. Jonathan Redden, Principal,

Mrs. Bernadette Butler, Assistant Principal/Curriculum Coordinator,

Ms. Erica Cadigan, Administrative Assistant,

Ms. Kathy LaPierre, K-5 TEAM Chair,

Mrs. Jayme Szymczak, Pre-K TEAM Chair,

Cunningham Phone Number - 617 696 4285

Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!

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