October 2016  
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Welcome to Millis Public Schools

Dear Millis Families, Caregivers and Community, 

This is a time of mixed feelings- excitement for a new school year, longing for a few more weeks of summer, and a heightened sense of the quick passage of time. Gone are the days of our childhoods when time seemed to stretch out endlessly. In fact, summer is actually a very busy time in the school buildings with deep cleaning, hiring, staff trainings, and maintenance and upgrading of technology. All our staff members have worked hard to make the 2016-2017 year successful for our students and families.

I’d like to introduce some of our talented new hires:

  • Director of Operations/Facilities, John Engler

  • Director of Extended Day, Jeanne Noonan (beginning late September)

  • Director the Extended Day Child Care Center, Kristin Quinzani

  • Director of Food Services for Millis and Medway, Shawn Fallon

  • Middle School Special Education, Lauren Turco Scotland

  • Middle School Art, Madison Weber

  • Grade 6 Math (Maternity leave), Arpana George

  • High School Special Education, Sherri Craig

  • Middle/High School Nurse, Lynn Molinari

These new hires, and a few new paraprofessionals, food service staff, and bus drivers, are joining one of the finest faculties in the state. All staff work together to create a culture that is caring, collaborative and always focused on improving the educational experiences of our students. I am especially proud of what we have accomplished in light of having one of the lower per pupil expenditures in the state:

  • Twice we have received an award from the Center for American Progress for having a “high return on investment.”

  • Newsweek recently named Millis High School as one of the top 500 in the entire United States, highlighting “schools that do the absolute best job of preparing students for college.”

  • Earlier this year we were selected as one of only 425 high schools in the United States and Canada for the AP (Advanced Placement) District Honor Roll.

  • Additionally, for three years in a row, we have been named by the Washington Post as one of the Top High Schools in the United States, ranking in the top six percent.

The school year begins for students on Wednesday, August 31st and you will be receiving information from the schools. You will also be able to check our updated website that our technology department has worked hard to get ready for the opening of school. Improved communication with parents and the community is important to us.  Also, of the utmost importance, is the safety of our students, both physically and emotionally. We hold fire, bus evacuation, Stay in Place, Lockdown and Active Shooter drills every year in partnership with our fabulous Fire and Police Departments. In fact, Millis is at the forefront of collaborative interagency preparedness for emergencies. We plan to hold information nights again this year to address student safety in various areas: internet safety, cyber-bullying and general bullying and preparedness for emergencies. We have trained all staff in these areas and discussed these with students in age appropriate ways.

 Teachers begin the school year on Monday and Tuesday with professional development focused on personalizing learning through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which enables us to adjust to the varied ways in which students learn best. We are planning ways for students to take more ownership of their learning and have more choice in how they learn and how they show what they know. Project-based learning that integrates the Arts as well as the Engineering Design Process is a strength of the Millis Public Schools, as are our Tools of the Mind, Foreign Language (FLES) and Spanish Immersion Programs.

Parents, guardians, and caregivers, you play a crucial role in your children’s successful educational experience. We could not accomplish nearly as much without your involvement and support. Thank you for all you do to help make the Millis Public Schools a “Small School, Big Family” and one of the best in Massachusetts and the U.S.! 

Respectfully yours, 

Nancy L. Gustafson, Superintendent

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