2008–2009 M I D D L E22011–2012 S0 C 0 8H–O 2 0O0L 9
S T U DM ELOWER N DH BO I DTDH LA EN SSCHOOL C OO OK L S TPARENT UDENT H ANDBOOK HANDBOOK
K–8 Calendar, 2011–2012
5 table of
Milton Academy Mission Lower School Philosophy and Core Values Diversity in the K–8 Division: A Statement of Values and Goals
How Parents Can Communicate to the School How We Communicate to Parents Web-based News and Information Media Relations
III. Traveling to School and Attendance
Traveling to School Arrival and Drop-Off Campus Map Dismissal and Pick-up Late Pick-up Attendance and Extended Vacations
IV. School Programs and Culture
Assemblies Birthdays and Other Celebrations Buddies Cell Phones Class Bake Sales Clothing and Dress Guidelines Community Meetings for Students Events Expectations, Rules and Discipline Extended Day and After School Programs Field Trips Food Gifts for Teachers Homework Incidental Account Charges Libraries Lost and Found Personal Possessions Pets on Campus Recess
Health and Wellness K–8 Admission Academic Support Services K–8 Parents’ Association myMilton Enrollment Procedures Institutional Advancement and the Annual Fund 1
K–8 DIVISION calendar 2011–2012 Please check Milton’s online calendar for the most up-to-date event information. calendar
September 9 Fri
8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Classes begin for Grades K-5, noon dismissal 9:00-11:30 a.m. Orientation for Grades 6-8 12:00-1:00 p.m. New to Milton Middle School student lunch 12 Mon 8:00 a.m. All K-8 classes in session 2:15 p.m. Middle School fall athletic season begins 16 Fri 6:00-9:00 p.m. K-8 New Parent Reception 20 Tues 6:00 p.m. Grade 6 Curriculum Night 22 Thurs Lower School Curriculum Night Grades K, 1, and 5 Classroom Presentations 6:00-7:00 p.m. 7:00-7:45 p.m. K-5 Curriculum Night Reception Grades 2, 3, and 4 Classroom Presentations 8:00-9:00 p.m.
October 4 Tues 7 Fri 9 Sun 10 Mon 11 Tues 17 Mon 18 Tues 20 Thurs 21 Fri 25 Tues 27 Thurs 28 Fri
All Day All Day 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. All Day 8:00 a.m. All Day 8:00 a.m. 3:15-7:00 p.m. All Day All Day
K-5 Picture Day K-5 Parent Conferences, classes in session Swap-It move in Columbus Day holiday, no classes Classes resume Mid-fall weekend, no classes Classes resume K-8 Swap-It Family Night Parents’ Day, Grades 7-8 Grade 6 Parent Conferences, classes in session 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Middle School Picture Day 11:00 a.m. K-5 Halloween Parade 6:30–8:30 p.m. Middle School Parent Social 6:30–8:30 p.m. Middle School Student Social
November 1 Tues 7:00-9:00 p.m. 5 Sat 1:30-3:30 p.m. 11 Fri 10:00-11:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 14-18 Mon-Fri 22 Tues 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00-5:00 p.m. 29 Tues
8:00 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
K-8 Fireside Chat K-8 Admission Open House K-8 Veterans’ Day Assembly K-12 Flag Pole Ceremony Middle School Mud Week K-8 Thanksgiving Assembly Thanksgiving holiday begins K-5 After School available; no After School for Middle School Classes resume Middle School winter athletic season begins
December 2 Fri
5-9 Mon-Fri 15 Thurs 11:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Grade K, 1 and 2 Parent Conferences, classes in session Grade 7 and 8 Assessment Week K-12 Holiday Assembly Winter vacation begins K-5 After School available; no After School for Middle School
3 Tues 16 Mon 17 Tues 30 Mon
8:00 a.m. All Day 8:00 a.m. All Day
Classes resume Martin Luther King Day, no classes Classes resume Grades 6-8 Faculty Work Day, K-5 in session Middle School classes resume
February 1 Wed 16 Thurs
All Day 7:00 p.m.
20 Mon All Day 21 Tues 8:00 a.m. 22 Wed 7:00-8:00 p.m. 24 Fri All Day 27-1 Mon-Fri
Middle School, Semester II begins “Looking Ahead to the Middle School” for parents of Grades 3-5 Presidents’ Day holiday, no classes Classes resume Grade 8 Parent Course Planning K-5 Parent Conferences, classes in session Middle School Mud Week
March 6 Tues
3:00 p.m. 12:00-5:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
Spring Concert, Grade 4-6 orchestra and Grade 3-5 performances Spring vacation begins K-5 After School available; no After School for Middle School Classes resume Middle School spring athletic season begins
April 16 Mon 17 Tues 19 Thurs
Patriots’ Day–K-8 holiday; Upper School in session 8:00 a.m. Classes resume 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. K-6 Book Fair
May 3 Thurs 6 Sun 11 Fri 28 Mon 29 Tues 31 Thurs
6:00 p.m. All Day
K-5 Parent/Child Night Foley Fiesta Middle School Speech Tournament 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. K-8 Grandfriends’ Day All Day Memorial Day holiday, no classes 8:00 a.m. Classes resume 6:30 p.m. Grade 5 Play performance
June 1 Fri 3 4 5 6
Sun Mon Tues Wed
Middle School Awards Ceremony, chapel dress 9:15 a.m. Grade 8 Reading 2:00-5:00 p.m. “See you in September” K-8 Picnic 6:30-9:00 p.m. Grade 8 Social All Day Last day of K-5 classes 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Last day of Middle School classes 8:30-10:30 a.m. Middle School Closing Ceremony 11:00 a.m. Grade 8 Family Reception 12:00 p.m. Dismissal
Milton Academy Mission Lower School Philosophy and Core Values Diversity in the Kâ€“8 Division: A Statement of Values and Goals
Welcome to the Lower School at Milton Academy. As students move through Grades K–5 in the Junior Building and Greenleaf Hall, they engage in a vigorous, rich and complex program that develops their academic, creative and interpersonal skills. Teachers and administrators committed to the elementary years proudly teach the whole child in developmentally appropriate ways. Within the K–8 Division and the K–12 Academy, Lower School students and faculty benefit from experiences and ties with students of all ages. Our community is closeknit and respectful; all students are known closely by peers and adults alike. Within this supportive network, students are encouraged to take risks, solve problems, and collaborate, learning what it means to “Dare to be true.” This Lower School Parent Handbook includes information about the Lower School, and acts as a guide and resource for you. As a reference, it should answer questions as they arise. As a guide, it provides the School’s expectations, and the names of people who can help you. Please read the Handbook carefully, and revisit it throughout the year to become familiar with the Lower School.
Milton Academy Mission Milton Academy cultivates in its students a passion for learning and a respect for others. Embracing diversity and the pursuit of excellence, we create a community in which individuals develop competence, confidence, and character. Our active learning environment, in and out of the classroom, develops creative and critical thinkers unafraid to express their ideas, prepared to seek meaningful lifetime success, and to live by our motto, “Dare to be true.”
Lower School Philosophy and Core Values Milton Academy Lower School believes that children and adults learn best in a nurturing environment that is safe, joyful, and intellectually challenging. Developmental and academic considerations shape decisions about curriculum, organization, and day-to-day life throughout the School. Students and teachers engage in a wide spectrum of activities that balance individual and cooperative learning. They are encouraged to take risks, to learn from their mistakes, and to understand and enjoy the process of learning. Acceptance and celebration of differences are integral parts of the K–8 experience. Above all, the community values respect and kindness to others. We believe that: • creativity is essential to success and developing creativity requires practice; making original, personal statements is a fundamental element of our curriculum. • problem solving and mastering skills is rewarding and joyous; competence calls for effort, logic, and perseverance, and setbacks are part of the process. • not all accomplishment is measurable, and achievement should be assessed by the degree to which children grow in confidence and competence. • often the root of a powerful intellectual experience is the relationship with mentors, teachers and peers. Being cared for allows growth; being caring is a basic life skill. • recognizing each person’s voice is crucial, as is valuing the collective expressions and contributions of a group. • diversity of beliefs, practices, and backgrounds enriches us and opens new ways of knowing, helping us think deeply about what we might otherwise take for granted. • by forming trusting relationships with adults and classmates, children can develop the confidence to take risks, trust their feelings, and respond courageously when their viewpoints are uncommon or unpopular. • responsibility for one’s work is a lifelong value; we must accept the consequences for choices about how we allocate our time. • effective teaching requires thoughtful, regular conversation among stu6
dents, teachers and parents. • teachers are curriculum developers; curriculum is active, interdisciplinary, flexible and rich.
Diversity in the K–8 Division: A Statement of Values and Goals
In the K–8 division at Milton Academy, we value our differences as well as our similarities. Acceptance and celebration of differences are integral parts of the K–8 experience. We recognize that heightening our awareness about issues of diversity, as they relate to our parents and children, our faculty, our curriculum, our admission work, and our day-to-day lives at School requires our ongoing commitment. Through a variety of means, including constructive and open discourse, we work with families to create a community that builds upon its history and strives for inclusivity in all its dimensions. We aspire to be: • a School where all children may broaden their view of others and themselves by encountering mirrors of their own background and experience as well as windows of difference. • a School that fosters an open-minded appreciation of the commonalities and differences evident in the K–8 and the broader community. We expect our children to learn respect and acceptance of many forms of diversity including, but not limited to, race or ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, gender, national origins, family composition, sexual orientation, physical or psychological difference, and political affiliation. Students come to understand and support the notion that “Everyone Is One of Us.” • a School where students are encouraged to be involved and active citizens of their immediate community and the wider world community by seeking to question and counter various forms of prejudice.
How Parents Can Communicate to the School How We Communicate to Parents Web-based News and Information Media Relations
How Parents Can Communicate to the School Phone Numbers
Milton Academy Switchboard Todd Bland, Head of School Marshall Carter, K–8 Principal Gretchen Larkin, Assistant Principal, Lower School Will Crissman, Assistant Principal, Middle School Kristin Corbin, K–8 Director of Admission Joan Abramson, Lower School Counselor Nancy Stawarky, K–3 Literacy Specialist Liz West, Learning Specialist, 4-8 Maria Rogers, Junior Building Office Michelle Saunders, K–8 Office & Greenleaf Hall Jacqui Pennini, Middle School Office & Ware Hall Diane Hutchison, After School Program Director Health Services Nurse’s Beeper Number K–8 Office Fax Number Junior Building Fax Number Campus Safety
617–898–1798 898–2200 898–2550 898–2338 898–2322 898–2509 898–2931 898–2514 898–2298 898–2516 898–2551 898–2368 898–2513 898–2450/51/56 617–473–1431 898–2505 898–1707 898–2911
Change of Contact Information
Please send all changes of family contact information to Milton Academy via mail, email or voicemail, using the following addresses: • Mail: Address Updates c/o ATS Department Milton Academy 170 Centre Street Milton, MA 02186 • Email: Address_Update@Milton.edu • Voicemail: 617–898–2929 Contacting Students
For getting important messages to students during the day, you may telephone the appropriate building office: • For students in the Junior Building call 617–898–2516. • For students in Greenleaf call 617–898–2551. If you need to deliver something to your child during the school day, please leave it in the building’s front office rather that taking it to your child’s classroom. For students in Grades 3–5, you may also place items in the student’s cubby. Messages to Faculty
The School’s main number reaches an automated system that offers certain access information. If you know the extension you would like to reach, you may dial that number directly. All teachers have voice mailboxes which you can access through the School switchboard (617–898–1798). You may also email teachers, using the following address convention: email@example.com. Mail
Send faculty mail to 170 Centre Street, Milton, MA 02186, where it will be delivered to the faculty member’s mailbox. Student Use of School Telephones
With permission from a teacher and the administrative assistant in the building, students may use a school telephone to call home.
To contact Campus Safety in case of emergency, dial 2911 from any campus telephone, or dial 617–898–2911 from any other telephone. Calls to this number will be answered by a Campus Safety officer 24 hours a day. Dial 911 from any campus telephone to reach outside emergency services. Dialing “7” first is not necessary when contacting outside emergency services. If a situation merits a 911 call, please call Milton Academy Campus Safety as well. In the case of a national, state or local emergency, the School will communicate with parents through email, messages on the School’s main telephone number (617–898–1798), Web site announcements, and radio and television announcements. The School will also use Alert–Now, an emergency notification system that provides the ability to send voice messages to students and their parents instantaneously in the event of a School-wide emergency. In the event of a national, state or local emergency, family and friends should not call the Campus Safety extension, as that line should be kept free for on-campus communication.
How We Communicate to Parents Communication between School and home is vitally important. We each have important perspectives and pieces of information about your child. Sharing what we know about your child as a learner is as important as learning about who your child is at home. We have a number of important vehicles designed to communicate with you: • Lower School Parent Handbook • The Milton Academy Web site (www.milton.edu) • Web-based, electronic news on Milton’s K–8 site • Curriculum and Child/Parent Nights • The annual Fireside Chat with the Head of School and K–8 Principal • Two parent conference days for Greenleaf parents, three for Junior Building parents • Written progress reports • Parent representatives for each grade • Host families for new children • K–8 Parents’ Association open meetings which occur regularly and are always open to anyone interested • Milton Magazine, the School’s alumni magazine • Classroom newsletters • Specific grade level events, such as introducing The Farm School to parents of third-grade students, and Human Sexuality and Relationships education to fifth-grade families • Classroom visits • Weekly assemblies • Curriculum pieces by the principal or staff • Weekly E-News • Notes home from teachers Cancellation of School
In the event that School is cancelled or delayed because of weather conditions, parents, students and faculty may learn of this decision by checking the Milton Web site, calling the School switchboard beginning at 6 a.m., or by listening to the following radio and TV stations: WBZ 1030 AM and WCVB–TV5. Classroom Visits
Parents of children in Kindergarten–Grade 2 are invited to visit classrooms for a portion of the morning. Classroom visits begin in early November and end in mid-April. This timing gives us the ability to set up class routines in the fall and bring closure at the end of the year. Sign-up opportunities are provided by the 10
individual classroom teachers. Parent visits provide a clear message about how much we value our partnership. Our goals for these visits are: • to give you a context and vocabulary for what your children are experiencing when they talk with you about School. • to allow you to see how your child functions in the classroom. • to show you what it means to have a progressive classroom setting and curriculum. • to give evidence of how much learning takes place, because young children generally do not have a “paper trail.” • to communicate, through your direct experience, the role that good teachers play in the growth and development of children.
In the early fall, a general discussion of the course of study and an opportunity to meet and talk with faculty is provided to parents at each grade level. Parents are urged to attend in order to gain an understanding of the curriculum, goals, and expectations for the year. This evening is also a wonderful opportunity to make or renew acquaintances with other parents and meet your child’s teachers. Parent/Child Night
During this evening in early-May, children, with the guidance of their teachers, share their work and culminating projects as well as demonstrate their knowledge. Parent–Teacher Conferences & Progress Reports
We have enhanced our conference and progress report program to provide more timely and thorough information. We have increased the number of conferences for Grade K–2 parents. Additionally, we are giving specialist teachers (who teach your children less frequently) sufficient time to gather information before reporting on your child’s progress. Close communication about your child’s progress begins when you complete a summer online document called the “Parental Response Form.” Teachers carefully read these in preparation for the school year. Parental insights and the teacher’s emerging knowledge of your child are discussed at your parent conference in early October. Regular communication about your child’s progress continues in December. Parents of students in Grades K–2 have a conference with the homeroom teacher, documented in a written conference report. Parents of Grade 3–5 students receive comprehensive written reports. Parents of all K–5 students receive their first written reports from specialist teachers in December. In mid-February, parents of all K–5 students have conferences documented by a follow-up conference report. At the end of the school year, parents of all children in Grades K–5 receive comprehensive written reports from all teachers. We make every attempt to deliver these reports before the end of school to allow for follow-up conversations before summer vacation. Written reports are made available to parents via myMilton accounts. Students do not receive letter grades. Please consult the calendar at the front of this Handbook for this year’s conference dates. Classes are in session for students in both buildings on conference days. Apart from these formal opportunities for communication, teachers and parents are well served when they communicate as needs arise. We will let you know if we are observing unusual or changed patterns at School, and it is very important that you notify us when anything unusual happens at home or in the close family environment. Occurrences such as illness, separation, death, or change of employment can be difficult or influential for children. We are in a much better position to be of assistance if we are kept well-informed. Please notify the School if you plan to be away from your children for any length of time. 11
Web-based News and Information
Through the interactive, Web-based K–8 calendar you can select for events most pertinent to your child and find complete, timely information regarding these events. Please visit the K–8 calendar frequently at http://www.milton.edu/ calendar/k8. The K–8 News portion of the Milton Academy Web site, updated multiple times each week, has important announcements as well as fresh news items about life in K–8. Please bookmark K–8 News on your computer: http://www.milton.edu/ calendar/k8/news
Media Relations Occasionally members of our School community come into contact with the media regarding School-related issues. Cathy Everett, director of communications, should be informed of any contact with the media at its onset. In the case of a “newsworthy” event, the director of communications serves as the spokesperson for the community to the media.
Pictures on the Website
Many people visit our Web site every day: prospective teachers, applicants, individuals who want to know what a good school is doing. We would like the K–8 site to be representative of who we are and what we value. We will try to post current information and children’s work. Digital cameras allow us to take photos of work in process, and we hope to use these photos as well. We will not identify children by full name in the photos. We hope that you will trust our judgment and want to help us portray the School through the medium that best represents us: your children’s learning. We do not exercise this right lightly and will think carefully about what we make available on the Web.
T r av e l i n g t o School and Attendance
Traveling to School Arrival and Drop-off Campus Map Dismissal and Pick-up Late Pick-up Attendance and Extended Vacation
Traveling to School traveling to school
• Bicycles/Scooters and Walking to School We support children riding bikes to school, with permission from the School and parents. Bikes should be walked on campus and stored in bike racks. Scooters should also be closed and carried when on campus. • Carpools The primary form of transportation for K–8 students is the family carpool, and families living outside of Milton are encouraged to seek a carpool from their hometowns. Parents are encouraged to use the Milton Academy online directory to find other families who live in their area. • Other Transportation Families residing in Milton may pursue transportation on Town of Milton contracted buses by contacting First Student, Inc., 781-961-3824. The K–8 offices are unable to help with this matter. Children who are not assigned to ride a Milton bus may not accompany a friend on that bus. We recognize that transportation to School may pose challenges to families, especially those who do not live in Milton or a nearby town. Administrators are always happy to discuss and assist you with identifying travel options. Buses contracted for the purpose of transporting Middle and Upper School students from outside Milton to campus are not intended to be used by K–5 students. The safety of our young students, at the bus stop and on the bus, is at the core of this guideline.
Arrival and Drop-Off The Lower School buildings open at 8 a.m. Supervised morning drop-off begins at 7:45 a.m., and children should arrive at School between 7:45 and 8 a.m. Students arriving after 8:10 a.m. should proceed directly to the appropriate building office to sign in. This allows the School to keep accurate attendance and tardiness records. Tardiness and absences appear on progress reports.
Junior Building At morning drop-off, you are invited to wait with your child until the doors to the Junior Building are open at 8:00 a.m. We welcome your presence in Lower School buildings; once morning meetings have begun it is best to make a quiet departure, letting children focus on their classroom community. If you come into the building, please park in a legal parking space in either lot adjacent to the building, or along the driveway that leads to the campus. Note that the row of spaces along the field in the Junior Building parking lot is reserved for faculty and staff. Also, be mindful of our neighbors who live in campus housing adjacent to the Junior Building. A “Kiss and Drop” zone is provided at the curb directly in front of the Junior Building. Parking is prohibited in this area.
Greenleaf Hall Three sites are appropriate drop-off locations for students entering Greenleaf Hall: the Pool Lot, the “Rock,” and the Ware Loop. You are invited to drop your child off or to park and walk your child into the building. The Pool Lot provides a path that leads directly to Greenleaf Hall. The traffic pattern in this lot is one-way in a counter-clockwise direction. Students can be dropped off at the entrance to the path just inside the lot. The “Rock” is across from the Pritzker Science Center and along the path to Greenleaf, behind Kellner Hall. No vehicles travel on this path during drop-off. Just in front of Ware Hall, there is a loop specifically for drop-off and pick-up. Greenleaf Hall is immediately behind Ware Hall. Families with children in the Middle or Upper Schools often find this a convenient “one-stop” drop-off site. For safety reasons, drop-off on Randolph Avenue along the side of Greenleaf or in the entrance to the circle is strictly prohibited. There is no longer a staircase from Randolph Avenue to the Greenleaf circle. 14
traveling to school
Drop-off and pick-up for Greenleaf students only is at the â€œPool Lot,â€? accessed via Randolph Avenue.
Drop-off and pick-up for families with children in the Junior Building or with children in both the Junior Building and Greenleaf, is at the loop in front of the Junior Building, accessed via Centre Street.
Drop-off and pick-up for Middle School students is in Ware Loop, accessed via Centre Street.
Dismissal and Pick-up traveling to school
School ends at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at noon on Friday. At the beginning of the school year, parents indicate their pick-up preferences (individual pick-up, carpool, After School, etc). Any changes to your child’s regular dismissal plan should be communicated with the School by calling or emailing the office in the appropriate building: Maria Rogers at 617-898-2516 for the Junior Building, and Michelle Saunders at 617-898-2551 for Greenleaf. Children who are not going directly home in their usual manner must provide a note to the homeroom teacher on that day. This policy applies to children in both buildings. Transportation arrangements should be specified. If transportation problems arise, please consult with the building offices to make special arrangements for your child. We cannot dismiss Lower School students to their Middle School siblings. Students may only be dismissed to an adult. One of the hallmarks of the School’s culture is looking your teacher in the eye and shaking hands with him or her at the end of the day. This ritual begins in Kindergarten and continues through Grade 5. A firm handshake imprints the closure experience and is a valuable lifelong skill for children. Please note that Lower School buildings and facilities on campus are not available to Lower School students after the end of the school day. Students who live on campus, and their friends, must have parental supervision on-site in order to use any indoor or outdoor facilities after school hours.
Junior Building Children are escorted by their teachers to the sidewalk area just past the Junior Building, and across from the Pritzker Science Center. There, they are joined by students from Greenleaf Hall to await pick-up. Cars form a line along the sidewalk and in front of the Junior Building to await dismissal. Teachers guide students to their appropriate cars. When cars are loaded, they can depart following the traffic pattern. Junior Building students are dismissed to cars that are parked along the path between their exit from the building and their waiting location. Should such families choose to depart immediately, they can proceed slowly through the parking lot aisle closest to the Pritzker Science Center. Cars that have already passed this fork must wait for the line to advance ahead. For obvious safety reasons, backing up, cutting around other cars in the line, and leaving parked cars unattended are strictly prohibited.
Greenleaf Hall There are two pick-up options for children at the close of School: the Pool Lot or the “Rock.” The Pool Lot:
This location is for families picking up children from Greenleaf Hall. Cars form a line following the counter-clockwise traffic pattern of the lot. Children assemble at the Greenleaf circle and faculty then escort the children to the lot and around the perimeter, dismissing children into waiting cars. Any remaining children await pick-up at the far end of the lot, supervised by faculty. To exit, please proceed along the traffic pattern. The “Rock”:
Families picking up children from both the Junior Building and Greenleaf Hall will use this pick-up location. Students from the Junior Building join students from Greenleaf Hall in the sidewalk area adjacent to the fields. Students are dismissed to the cars awaiting children for pick-up. The following are NOT permitted pick-up options:
• Parking in the faculty and staff lot across the street from Greenleaf Hall and meeting your child in the lobby of Greenleaf. • Meeting your child in front of Ware Hall. • Picking up your child from anywhere on Randolph Avenue.
Late Pick-up If you or your authorized carpool driver is running late, please call the Junior Building or Greenleaf office. Generally, children will be escorted to After School if their ride has not arrived by 3:20 (12:20 on Fridays).
traveling to school
Regular daily attendance is essential if students are to participate fully in academic life and in the activities of the School. On days when a student must be absent because of illness, a parent must telephone the School’s automated attendance line between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. to report the absence. From the main phone number (617-898-1798), choose option 2 twice in succession. To phone the number directly, call 617-898-2160. With parent support, students are responsible for their class work and assignments during any absence, whatever the reason. When possible, students in older grades can call a friend for missed assignments or to make arrangements for assignments to be brought home. In cases of extended absence, please contact your child’s teacher. Given the dynamic and interactive nature of Lower School classrooms, we believe that nothing can take the place of a student’s physical presence. Thus, we urge parents to plan all family vacations and medical or other appointments outside of School hours.
Extended Vacations A few families take vacations to coincide with the break in public schools, a family event, or a work schedule that cannot be altered. We strongly discourage this, though we are aware that sometimes there may be important reasons why families make this choice. A letter describing the potential absence should be sent directly to the K–8 principal three weeks prior to a possible extended absence. Do not ask teachers to put together work or to make up work with your child. Your vacation should not place extra demands on the faculty.
Programs and C u lt u r e
Assemblies Birthdays and Other Celebrations IV
Buddies Cell Phones Class Bake Sales Clothing and Dress Guidelines Community Meetings for Students Events Expectations, Rules and Discipline Extended Day and After School Programs Field Trips Food Gifts for Teachers Homework Incidental Account Charges Libraries Lost and Found Personal Possessions Pets on Campus Recess 18
Assemblies K–5 assemblies are typically scheduled for Friday mornings at 11 a.m. Assembly activities may include an all-School sing-a-long, a skit, improvisational readings, student reports on classroom projects, performances by visiting artists, or specialists in a given field. Parents are always welcome and should check the online School calendar for location or time changes. • Recording of assemblies: We ask you to enjoy assemblies and productions without the encumbrance of a video recorder. Videotaping puts undue pressure on productions to rise from work-in-progress to polished product. We recognize there are occasionally good reasons to preserve something, to share with other parents or relatives, or to capture milestones. Please be as unobtrusive as possible. Arrangements have been made for high-quality taping of major events. Parents will be notified when the School holds a duplicable recording of a production. A small charge may be required to cover the cost of an outside professional or duplication services.
school programs and culture
Birthdays and Other Celebrations Birthdays are an important day in a child’s life. Families often provide birthday treats to commemorate their child’s special day. When providing treats, please provide enough for the entire grade as well as several adults. Make arrangements with the class parent representative or teacher ahead of time, and please remember that treats should be nut-free; check with your child’s teacher about food allergies in the class. Although birthday parties are a home event, we ask that you remember that your family is part of the Milton community. We work hard to create a positive classroom community for every child. Please join us in our efforts to create a positive and respectful community: • If a student is planning a birthday party, please be sensitive to the feelings of classmates. Parties at which one or two children are not invited are exclusive and negatively impact social dynamics at school. Parties that include either all the boys, all the girls, or the entire class are strongly encouraged. • Send invitations by the U.S. Postal Service, email, or other appropriate means. No invitations may be brought to School for distribution. • Do not send birthday presents to School. • Discourage children from discussing birthday parties at School. • Birthday parties should not leave directly from School. They can be a disruption to the class, and there can be hurt feelings. • Parents of children whose birthdays fall during a vacation or on a nonschool day may make arrangements with the class parent representative or teacher to celebrate their child on a mutually agreed upon day. Occasionally, there are other class celebrations: 100th Day, Problem of the Week, a goodbye party, etc. Advanced planning assures that these events are spread out over a reasonable time period.
Buddies Many classrooms in the Lower School have “buddy” programs pairing older and younger students, based on our belief that children of different ages learn much from one another and enjoy each other’s company. Students in Kindergarten are paired with students in Grade 5. Students in Grades 1 and 2 are paired with Grade 6 Reading Buddies. In Grade 4, Upper School students work regularly as teacher aides and mentors.
Cell Phones If you are visiting School, in a classroom or at an assembly, please turn your cell phone off. It is distracting to the children and teachers to be interrupted by the phone. We hope that you will agree that barring active cell phones from the School will result in a more focused experience for all involved. Students should not have active cell phones during the school day. 19
Class Bake Sales school programs and culture
Teacher-approved bake sales are a limited yet successful part of Lower School students’ lives, both from the point of view of raising money for a cause and from the point of view of having an occasional special snack. If your child is on the ‘buying’ side of a bake sale, we encourage the child to use a reasonable amount of his or her allowance or personal money to purchase goods in order to understand the benefits of supporting a cause.
Clothing and Dress Guidelines We share parents’ desire for children to be neat, clean, appropriate, and comfortable. Milton Academy does not have a formal dress code. We expect that children will wear clothing that allows them to concentrate on being students. Clothing should not be distracting to the learning environment and should allow for vigorous play and focused involvement in projects that might involve glue, paint, etc. Students should use the following guidelines when dressing for the School day: • No flip–flop sandals. • No hats or bandanas worn inside buildings. • No spaghetti straps, off-the-shoulder or strapless tops, undershirts, shirts with bare midriffs, or inappropriately revealing clothing. • No underclothing may be visible. • No clothing with words, writing, or imagery deemed by teachers and administrators to be disrespectful or inappropriate for young children in a learning environment. • No slogans across the rear of pants. • Sneakers are required for physical education class, and a pair must be kept at school. • Junior building students should have an extra set of clothing at school: shoes or sneakers, in addition to a pe pair, socks, shirt and pants. All clothing should be labeled; extra clothing will be kept in a bag or box on the child’s closet shelf. • Jackets, snowpants, boots, hats, and gloves/mittens are required for students in the winter months so that they can take advantage of the fields of snow and sledding. • For special events, such as school concerts and field trips, teachers will provide information about event-specific appropriate dress. On field trips where students are guests of another school or institution, student clothing should be respectful of our hosts and represent Milton Academy well.
Community Meetings for Students Each building has a community meeting. The Junior Building generally meets on Tuesday mornings and Greenleaf Hall meets on Wednesday mornings. Junior Building meetings are planned and run by faculty members. Greenleaf Hall meetings are planned and run by fifth-grade students. Community meetings are low-key events limited to students and faculty. Parents are included only when they are visiting for the morning as a scheduled “student for the day.”
Events There are many special events in the life of the Lower School, the K–8 Division, and Milton Academy K–12. These include the Summer Reading Book Assembly, Swap-It, the All-School Veterans’ Day Flagpole Ceremony, the Book Fair, Field Day, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly, the Grade 5 Play, the Middle Eastern Fair, the Grade 3 trip to the Farm School, Grandfriends’ Day, the Halloween Parade, Potluck Dinners, See You in September Picnic, and the Skating Party. Specific dates, times and locations are provided on the online K–8 calendar.
Expectations, Rules and Discipline Over time, Milton Academy teachers and students have developed standards of conduct fundamental to the education that the School provides. Rules, bound20
aries and guidelines have evolved to protect individual students from behavior that is not healthy or safe for them, to foster the cohesion and morale of the community, and to enhance education by discouraging barriers to learning. We expect the cooperation of parents in upholding our standards. We believe that the parents and the Academy share the task of establishing the right balance of freedom and responsibility, realistically and consistently, for young people. We recognize that students make mistakes and hope that they will learn from them. If necessary, teachers and administrators can assign consequences with compassion and firmness, toward the goal of fostering habits of self-awareness, self-discipline and respect. We do not operate a system of strictly automatic responses, believing that discipline should take into account, as far as the welfare of the community will allow, such factors as the needs and age of the individual student, previous behavior, and the circumstances of the problemcausing behavior. If a student’s behavior is found to be unsatisfactory, conversations will occur among the classroom teacher, student, and parents to provide feedback on how the student can grow and improve, in developmentally and age-appropriate ways. Continued unsatisfactory behavior may result in a loss of privileges or disciplinary actions. The School reserves the right to dismiss any student whose behavior or lack of cooperation is deemed unacceptable, or whose parents no longer have a cooperative relationship with the School, in the judgment of the head of school. Ultimately, we value and seek to create a community where respectful students actively promote the physical and emotional safety of themselves and others by exhibiting integrity, whole-hearted cooperation, and respect for property.
school programs and culture
Extended Day and After School Programs Kindergarten Extended Day Program
An Extended Day Program is available for Kindergarten children on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from noon to 3:00 p.m. when School is in session. Children bring their own lunches. Milk is provided. The program features a balanced schedule of activities and is staffed by our Kindergarten teachers. For further information and registration, contact After School Director Diane Hutchison in the Junior Building at 617-898-2513. After School Program (ASP): Kindergarten–Grade 5
An After School Program is available for children in Kindergarten–Grade 5. For Kindergarten–Grade 3, the program is in session every afternoon on regular School days from dismissal until 5:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. The regular program provides a supportive, relaxed and supervised environment offering a variety of organized activities, as well as unstructured use of time and space in the Junior Building, including outdoor facilities. Special enrichment programs may be offered as well. Appropriate snacks are served daily. Students attending on Fridays need to bring their own lunch and beverage. The After School Program meets in the multi-purpose room of the Junior Building. Children in grades K–2 are dismissed to the care of an ASP staff member. Children in grades 3–5 walk to the “Rock” for regular dismissal with their classmates, after which they continue to the Junior Building. Homework Club – Grades 4 and 5
Homework Club is a supervised program where students in Grades 4 and 5 have a quiet place to work and read. All students in Grades 4 and 5 who enroll in the After School Program begin the afternoon in Homework Club, which runs from dismissal until 4:00 p.m. or longer if students need more time to complete their work. After Homework Club, students join in the regular activities of the After School Program. Homework Club meets at the multi-purpose room of the Junior Building.
After School Enrichment Programs
school programs and culture
ASP offers several enrichment programs over the academic year. French, Spanish, Chinese, ice skating lessons, chess club and knitting are some of our on-going programs. Minimum enrollment must be satisfied. Enrollment forms can be accessed through the K–8 Web site. Chess Club
Students in Grades K–5 may participate in a chess program that runs on Tuesday afternoons from October to March. Both recreational and advanced levels are available, with each group meeting once a week for a lesson, followed by intramural play. Advanced players may also choose to compete in outside tournaments. Spaces in David Smith’s Advanced Chess Program are limited and will be offered first to those continuing from the previous year. David Vigorito’s program is open to all students in Grades K–5; forms are available online or through ASP. Music Lessons
Private instruction is offered by regular members of the Academy music department in voice, piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, classical guitar, electric guitar, and bass. Orchestra is available to students in Grades 4 and 5 whose proficiency supports participation. Children enrolled in the After School Program on their lesson day are walked to and from Kellner by the ASP staff. For information about private music lessons, contact Dr. Donald Dregalla, Upper School Music Department, at 617-898-2136 or email: Don_dregalla@milton.edu. Lessons are scheduled outside the regular instructional day. Ice Skating
The ice skating rink in the ACC is open to our families for free skating at the end of November. While there is an adult manager from the facilities department present at the rink, there is no adult supervision of or support for children at the rink during open hours. Lower School children may only use the rink under the on-site supervision of a designated adult. Skaters must wear helmets while on the ice. Hockey sticks and pucks are not allowed on the ice during free skating times. The After School Program offers skating lessons to students in Grades K–5 on Fridays in January and February. Please call Diane Hutchison at 617-898-2513 for more information.
Field Trips Field trips to off-campus sites provide authentic context to learning that is deep, rich and meaningful. The Kindergarten may visit the New England Aquarium; Grade 1 may visit Boston during the unit on architecture; Grade 2 may visit Chinatown, etc. In the spring of Grade 3, the class spends two days and three nights at the Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts. Grade 4 travels extensively in the spring to the MFA and various sites related to their study of the Middle East. Grade 5 may travel to see a play related to literature studies. Classes travel by chartered bus, cars, School vans, public transportation, and on foot. Parents are sometimes invited to join as chaperones and fellow learners. Generally, fees for trips and buses are charged to your child’s Incidental Account (IA). Field trip assessments are generally $10 to $15 per child. Assessment for the Grade 3 overnight trip to the Farm School typically exceeds $300. The School does not expect field trips to be a financial constraint and asks any family that finds these charges difficult to let K–8 principal Marshall Carter know.
Lunch is provided by the School on Monday through Thursday for students in Grades 1–5. Students in Grades 1–4 are served lunch in the multi-purpose room of the Junior Building between noon and 1 p.m. For students in Grade 5, lunch is served in the Norris Hall Dining Room. Kindergarten students and those who attend Extended Day bring their own 22
lunches; milk is provided. Many kindergartners have strong food preferences, and a home-prepared meal encourages them to eat a nutritious lunch. Snack
Snack generally occurs just before the morning recess period. Families in Grades K–3 contribute snack for the class on a rotating basis. Signup for snacks generally occurs in the first two weeks of the school year. Snacks should be nut-free and healthy. We encourage fruit, cheese, veggies, crackers, high-fiber cookies, etc. Candy, overly sweet desserts, highly salted or sugared processed foods are not appropriate. In order to control allergens, please do not send individual snacks with your child. When sending in snacks, please send enough to include the whole grade and several adults. The School also provides crackers.
school programs and culture
Numerous adults and children in our community have allergies or sensitivities to various foods. FLIK dining service works closely with the School to provide safe meals for all children. When parents provide snacks, we must ask that they supply either the label from the snack or a complete list of ingredients. In particular, we ask that nuts be excluded from all home-provided snacks. This includes commercially-produced snacks with warning labels indicating that the food may have nuts or was produced in a facility that also processes peanuts or nuts. If your child has allergies of a particularly acute nature, we request that you meet with your child’s homeroom teacher, a Milton Academy nurse, and the K–8 principal or assistant principal for the Lower School to discuss ways to ensure safe food practices.
Gifts for Teachers Simply put, gifts for teachers and School staff are appreciated but not expected. Children and families of the Lower School often wish to give gifts to teachers at holidays or at the end of the year. Parents are urged to consider gift giving in a way that supports the Milton values of child-centered education, simplicity in material things, commitment to economic diversity, and sensitivity to the feelings of others. If you choose to give a gift, consider these guidelines: • Classes can pool resources to present a group gift to the teachers, specialists and staff that work with the class. Some examples of these gifts are classroom photo albums, class-made projects, or gift certificates to bookstores. • Individual gifts are also a gracious way for students to thank teachers in a more personal manner. Please consider something student- or familymade, or a heartfelt note highlighting experiences during the year. • Modesty and restraint are important. Be mindful that tax laws do limit the value of gifts you may make to Milton employees.
Homework Given in developmentally appropriate amounts at different ages, homework is an important opportunity for students to practice skills, think on their own, and develop self-discipline habits. Homework varies from classroom to classroom and grade to grade. Lower school teachers are thoughtful in choosing homework assignments to complement the learning that occurs in classrooms. Guidelines and expectations will be communicated to parents at Curriculum Night in September. Through the Home Reading Program, parents of younger students are encouraged to share good books with their children by reading aloud. Each school night, a child from Kindergarten through Grade 2 brings home a book to be read, either complete or in chapters, by a parent. Grade 3 also participates in the Home Reading Program, and children may either read to themselves or have a parent read to them. In Grades 4 and 5, students are expected to read for at 23
school programs and culture
least thirty minutes each night on Monday through Thursday; their individual selections are monitored by the classroom teachers and the librarian.
Incidental Account Charges Every Milton Academy student has an Incidental Account (IA). Students in the K–5 grades may not use their accounts at the bookstore. The School, however, may charge the student’s IA for field trips and lost library books. The School sends statements to parents monthly and requests prompt payment.
Libraries Students in Grades K–5 have access to two libraries: the Loizeaux Reading Room in the Junior Building (Grades K–2) and the Perry Reading Room in the Caroline Saltonstall Building (Grades 3–5). Kindergarteners visit the library as a class but do not borrow books. Students in Grades 1-5 may borrow books. The library does not charge fines for overdue books; however borrowers must pay for lost books.
Lost and Found Lost and found items can be recovered from bins located in the lobby of the Junior Building, the Junior Building multi-purpose room, and the lobby of Greenleaf Hall. Occasionally throughout the year, items are displayed for retrieval. Unclaimed clothing is donated to a local charity.
Personal Possessions We operate on principles of honesty and truth. We do not have locking capacity for students’ possessions. Therefore, we advise students to bring to School only those things necessary for school work and sharing. Treasured items, including money, should be left at home or held by teachers for safe-keeping.
Pets on Campus
Out of respect for members of our community who have allergies, pets may not be brought into the School buildings at any time. Under certain circumstances, and with prior permission from the principal, an animal may be brought in for a special visit.
Recess Lower School recess occurs at staggered times, usually between 10 and 11 a.m., and as a late afternoon break. Snack is generally served just before morning recess. Children are encouraged to go outside in all but the worst weather. Please be sure that your child has appropriate clothing each day for outside play. Recess is a time for students to choose and structure their own play. Teachers are on duty at recess at all times.
Health and Wellness K–8 Admission Academic Support Services K–8 Parents’ Association myMilton Enrollment Procedures Institutional Advancement and the Annual Fund
Health and Wellness resources
If your child is sick or not feeling well by the time school begins, please keep him or her home. While “butterflies” generally subside as the day gets underway, genuine illness can spread to others at School. Should a health need arise while a student is at School, a nurse is available in the Junior Building. Her responsibilities include administering medication and first aid, and overseeing the health needs of all K–8 students. The K–8 nursing personnel are part of the resources available in the campus Health Center, which is located in Faulkner House. Health Forms
Health forms must be filled out by parents and family physicians and returned to School before opening day. No child will be permitted to begin the school year without completed health forms. For the safety of your child, all allergies and existing health conditions must be listed. Since this information will be used in case of an emergency, please inform the School of any changes throughout the year. Medications
Occasionally, a situation arises that necessitates medication to be administered during school hours. Such times may include short-term responses to an illness or on-going treatment of asthma, allergies, or other chronic conditions. The following guidelines apply to all students: • No child should have any medication with him or her unless it has been cleared with the Health Center. This includes inhalers for asthma or allergies. • All medications must be brought to school: 1. in the original prescription bottle with the child’s name on it. 2. accompanied by a letter signed by the parent, which states the child’s name, the medication to be given, the dose and time for each administration, and a telephone number where the parent can be reached if necessary. 3. if a medication is non-prescription, please follow the same procedure, making sure that your child’s name is on the bottle containing the medicine. • All medications or medical needs that need to be attended to during school hours will be administered by the nurses on duty, or if deemed medically appropriate, by a willing, responsible adult who has been designated and trained by the school nurse to administer medication to your child. Please consult with one of the K–8 nurses if you have any questions or concerns at 617-898-1671.
All cases of contagious disease in the family or exposure to a contagious disease should be reported to the School. Such conditions may include strep infections, scarlet fever, chicken pox, measles, etc. We ask that parents look for signs of illness before their children leave for school in the morning. When children show signs of a cold, have a temperature, or sore throat, they should be kept at home until the acute phase passes. If a child becomes ill during the school day, we will make every effort to keep the child comfortable while trying to contact the parents. We do not have appropriate facilities for taking care of children who become ill except on an emergency basis. If a child cannot participate in physical education class due to an injury, he or she must have a letter from home. Please send a note describing the child’s limitations if this is the case. All children in school will be expected to participate fully in the scheduled classes and activities for the day. A child will not be permitted to participate in physical education class following a serious injury until a permission letter is sent from home. 26
Occasionally, children who are on the cusp of getting better from an illness may wish to attend school only for important rehearsals or group projects. While we understand the desire for a child not to let down his or her classmates despite personal sickness, we prefer that ill children stay home until they are fully recovered, and not to selectively attend those things that may be more important.
Lice and nits are harmless though annoying insects that flourish on the head, particularly in the scalp and hair of young children. It is possible—likely even—that at some point during your child’s time in the Lower School, lice will occur. It is imperative that you contact the School immediately when you know or suspect that your child has lice. When lice are discovered at School, you will be contacted to pick up your child. Parents of all students in the class are notified of the presence of lice. An “all clear” from the Health Center is mandatory prior to your child’s return. For additional information, please contact the Health Center at 617-898-2450. In anticipation of the start of school and returning from a vacation, please routinely do a head check, especially after times of long absences.
K–8 Admission Accelerated Process for Kindergarten Siblings
Milton families interested in applying a younger sibling for Kindergarten may take advantage of an accelerated timeline for the application process. All applications for grades other than Kindergarten follow the standard application timeline as outlined in our K–8 Admission viewbook and on the School’s Web site. The accelerated timeline for Kindergarten sibling applicants provides families with an admission decision by December, rather than waiting for the traditional March notification date. Families who prefer not to use the accelerated process are welcome to apply using the standard timeline. Please note that children offered admission in the early process must commit to the School’s offer of admission by January. If you would like more time to make your decision, we recommend that you apply following the standard timeline. The accelerated timeline for Kindergarten sibling applications is as follows: Applications due October 28 Parent interviews October and November Group visits November All other paperwork completed November 21 Notification of admission decision December Commitment letters due back January 2012 By giving families the option of an accelerated timeline for Kindergarten sibling applicants, we aim to balance the needs of our current families with our need to welcome children from families new to the Milton community. While we have a strong commitment to our students’ siblings, we cannot guarantee admission. With an earlier decision, we hope to give families with children for whom Milton is not an optimal fit time to investigate other options. Applications interested in Kindergarten for the 2012–2013 academic year should have birthdates between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007. If parents are considering applying their child whose birth date falls outside of this date range, they should meet with the director of K-8 Admission in the early fall of 2011.
Financial Aid Philosophy
Milton Academy is deeply committed to enrolling outstanding and deserving applicants regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. Milton strives to meet 100 percent of the demonstrated need for each student it enrolls. Milton’s diversity is a hallmark of the School; Milton actively seeks young people with academic promise and a range of talents, skills and interests. The School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, handicapped status, sexual 27
orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin. New to Financial Aid: How to Apply
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 617-898-2233 to start the process if you are a first-time financial aid applicant. Please note that all materials are due by January 15. Current Families Re-applying for Aid
Milton will review your aid application every year; you must reapply by January 15. If there is no significant change in your family’s financial situation, you can expect a comparable aid assessment from year to year. Milton will not review aid applications for the upcoming year prior to your full payment of tuition and fees for the current academic year. Milton Academy mails financial aid assessments for current students in May. Volunteer Opportunities
The K–8 Office of Admission welcomes all members of the parent community to be admission volunteers. Our parent volunteers are a hallmark of our process and are consistently noted by our prospective families as making a significant difference. We have many volunteer opportunities throughout the year, including giving tours to prospective families, serving as a host for the Open House, attending school fairs along with admission staff, hosting Kindergarten group sessions, and more. We have special training and info sessions throughout the year for our volunteers. If you currently have a child applying for admission, we do ask that you wait until the admission process is finished to be a tour guide. Please contact Kristin Corbin at 617-898-2509 for additional information, or with any questions. Host Families
Host families play an integral role in the transition of new families into our community. From the perspective of the new family, host families provide a vital link to the School. It gives them a helpful insight into Milton that proves invaluable over the summer, and in those transitional first few months of school. This is a fun opportunity for you, as a current parent, to help us welcome new families and to familiarize them with daily life here at Milton. This does require a commitment from you. Some responsibilities include getting together over the spring or summer, helping to introduce your new family socially through informal get togethers and playdates, as well as regular phone calls to check-in and explain upcoming events. This is intended to be an ongoing relationship throughout the new family’s first year at Milton. While we recognize that every relationship will be unique, we ask host families to be consistent in their communication with their assigned family. The need for Host Families is greatest in our entry years: Kindergarten, Grade 4, Grade 6 (we need the most hosts here) and Grade 7. If your child is entering one of these grades next year, we would love to hear from you. We also welcome families from across the entire K–8 division who are interested in serving as host families for any non-entry grade students. For more information, or to indicate your interest, please contact Kristin Corbin at 617-898-2509 in the spring.
Academic Support Services Learning Differences
Milton Academy’s K–8 is committed to optimizing each student’s learning. Our small class sizes enable us to foster relationships and to strive to understand how each student best learns. We work to implement the most successful strategies for each child’s needs, while encouraging children, as they grow, to learn about their own learning needs and styles. Some of our students need support beyond what is available in the classroom. In addition to our classroom teachers, a number of people help children and their parents better understand a child’s learning profile. These individuals include: 28
• A full-time literacy specialist in K-3 • A part-time School psychologist • A learning specialist in 4-8 When a child’s learning profile is particularly complex, we are interested in seeking outside information to help us learn more and to determine when to recommend support beyond what is provided in the K–8. The Child Study Team, composed of the faculty above, meets weekly to talk about the progress of all of our children, and, in conjunction with classroom teachers, is wellqualified to initiate and discuss recommendations for testing and tutoring with families. The School depends on honest sharing of what has been learned by outside testers and tutors to help us be more productive, successful, and sensitive in the classroom. At times, it is in the best interest of a child to repeat a grade or find a school that is better matched with his or her learning profile. Milton Academy is not the school for every child. We are skilled at identifying when a learning issue is developmental and likely to respond to intervention, and when it will need skills and personnel outside of our capabilities. We acknowledge our responsibility to communicate regularly with families when concerns arise, and we depend on mutual respect and support in making the best decisions to further a child’s learning. Above all, we share with our parents a fervent hope that their children thoroughly enjoy school, thrive personally and academically, and gain the necessary tools to succeed in their further education.
At various times in the K–8 we conduct formal and informal assessments of our students. This often happens at the beginning of the year, although it may happen at other times as well. This screening is done in-house by our own teachers and specialists, and is helpful as we make instructional decisions. These screenings are one of the various ways in which we see how children learn and how we can best meet their learning needs. We keep the screening information in the office of each building. It provides context for teachers as they create curriculum and choose materials, and it is not part of a student’s permanent file. Parents are always free to ask about the screening we conduct. In general, if we discover something worth sharing, we will do so. Standardized ERB Tests
Each year, Milton Academy administers the Educational Records Bureaus (or ERB) CTP-4 standardized tests to Grades 3–8. The ERBs are the only standardized tests that are administered in the K–8 division at Milton Academy and are widely administered among other independent and suburban schools. Please be aware that, like other standardized tests, the ERBs are not directly correlated to our curriculum. They provide a snapshot of your child’s basic skills at the time of the testing. The best preparation for children is a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast each morning. The tests are administered in homeroom groups by homeroom teachers over the course of the week and in a timed setting. Individual subtests range from 20 to 40 minutes each. Parents receive score information and may request to speak with teachers, learning specialists or administrators to discuss a child’s results.
Outside Educational / Psychological Evaluations
There are times when a child is evaluated outside of School, either at the request of the School or out of parental interest. It is important that you share the results of educational and cognitive assessments with us. We recognize that disclosing this information may be difficult, especially if it points to specific vulnerabilities, deficits or challenges. Sharing this information with the School is imperative as it enables us to work together collaboratively in the best interests of your child. In turn, we are committed to sharing any screening or testing that is done in School. Simply put, the more information we have, the greater the possibility that we can make accommodations and employ instructional techniques specifically targeted to helping your child. Please be assured that any outside testing will be handled sensitively and confidentially. It will not 29
go in a child’s permanent folder nor will it be shared without your knowledge and approval. You may choose to share testing with the principal, the assistant principal for the Lower School, the K–5 psychologist, the learning specialists, or a classroom teacher. We are dedicated to working together with a family to provide the best possible education within our capabilities. If, however, a child’s particular learning style and cognitive profile will not be well-served at Milton, we will work with the family to try to identify an appropriate academic environment. Our ultimate commitment is to make sure that your child flourishes academically, emotionally, socially and physically. Referrals for educational/psychological evaluation are available through the learning specialist, the assistant principal for the Lower School, or the school psychologist.
K–8 Parents’ Association The Milton Academy K–8 Parents’ Association is a volunteer organization that includes parents of students in Grades K–8. The Parents’ Association provides a forum where parents can achieve a greater understanding of the School and its philosophy and goals, and where parents can discuss issues of concern with School representatives; to support the School’s educational goals, faculty and activities; and to enhance the spirit of the Milton Academy community. Executive Board 2011–2012
Co–Chairs Monica Connolly, P’20 Jeanne Peters, P’13, ’16, ‘20 Treasurer Claire Walton, P’20, ’22 Development Office Liaisons Shannon Ollerhead Rhianne Crowley Communications Liaison Marlena Alex, P’17, ’21 Building Liaisons Junior Building: Doreen McLaughlin, P ’21, ’23 Greenleaf Hall: Lindy Crawford, P ’18, ’21 Ware Hall: Lynne Taylor, P’17, ’19, ‘21
• Diversity Committee: Acceptance and celebration of differences are integral parts of the K–8 experience. Milton K–8 encourages open discourse on issues of diversity among its parents. Interested parents, administrators, and faculty gather at dinners held throughout the school year to address how we, as a community, might maintain and build on Milton’s commitment in this area. All parents interested in issues of diversity are welcome to attend these gatherings. This is a particularly wonderful set of community events, and we are gratified by the proactive, positive participation by a wide variety of parents. • Class Representatives: Serve as liaison between the parents and the School; contact class members as needed; organize welcoming activities for parents; coordinate class dinners. • Parent Independent School Network (PIN) Representative: Attend four to five PIN meetings per year at different independent schools in the Boston area and report back to the parent body. • Faculty Appreciation Committee: Organize recognition reception for faculty and staff as a way of expressing the parents’ gratitude and support. • Library Committee: Support the work of Joan Eisenberg in the Lower School libraries. Volunteer to help students check-out books. • School Photos 30
• See You in September picnic and celebration • Swap–It • Fireside Chat • Veterans’ Day Assembly • Grade 5 Play Producer • Community Service • Special Programs • Skating Party
Swap–It is the Parents’ Association only annual fundraiser. It is a large-scale, four-day yard sale that regularly nets in excess of $50,000. For nine days, families across the K–12 Academy donate their gently used belongings which are then organized, tagged and sold. Proceeds from the event enhance the physical resources of the K–8 division as well as faculty professional development for K–8 teachers.
myMilton myMilton is the online resource center for Milton Academy parents. New families receive access information and directions at the start of the academic year. Via this private Web portal parents can: • update student and parent contact information, • view grades and comments, • complete re–enrollment and health forms, • access the online student, faculty, and staff directory.
Enrollment Procedures Annual Enrollment Contracts
By early February, the business office sends re-enrollment contracts to the parents of all students in the K–8. In order to hold a place for your child for the following academic year, parents must return the completed contract and the deposit within the specified period. Re-enrollment is completed through myMilton online. The deadline for re-enrollment is March 1. Parents, by logging into their myMilton accounts, can click on “re-enrollment” to find detailed instructions on completing the online forms, accessing informational brochures, and printing the documents that require signatures.
Forms to be returned to School before the academic year
Medical Permission and Release Form Physician Report Form (if your child is entering Grade 3) Physician Information Sheet (if your child is entering Grade 3) Leave of Absence
While rare, parents may choose to take a leave of absence from Milton Academy, either for personal reasons or to pursue a family opportunity. As a consistent policy, if parents wish to hold their child’s place at the Academy for the year following a leave of absence, they should expect to do so by paying their tuition for the year away. In order to maintain close ties to the School and preserve a child’s social connections to classmates, the family will receive all communications generally sent to parents, as well as ongoing communication with teachers and administrators. Parents who wish to discuss the possibility of a leave of absence should call Marshall Carter, K–8 principal. Student Withdrawal
Various reasons exist for a family to withdraw a child from Milton Academy. When a family has made the decision to withdraw a student from the School, this intention should be formalized with a letter to the K–8 principal and the director of K–8 admission. 31
Institutional Advancement and the Annual Fund resources
The Annual Fund is money raised each year to support the day-to-day activities of the Academy. Proceeds from the Annual Fund benefit every K–12 student by supporting extraordinary opportunities as well as helping meet the Academy’s general needs. A vital source of expendable dollars, the Annual Fund provides 10 percent of Milton’s operating budget. Milton’s Annual Fund counts on alumni, parents and friends of Milton to strengthen the highest priorities of the Academy through their annual unrestricted gift. The Annual Fund supports academic programs, faculty development, financial aid and student life. Each fiscal year the development office mails solicitations to alumni, parents and friends who have not yet made an Annual Fund gift within the current fiscal year. These letters are followed by telephone calls from alumni and parent volunteers. Please consider making your gift early in the year to help reduce postage and telephone costs. In addition, members of the Annual Fund and Leadership Gifts teams visit with alumni and parents to discuss Milton’s needs and priorities.
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