August 2021

The Year Ahead at Milton

As we approach the start of the 2021–2022 school year, we are excited to welcome all students back to campus. While the COVID-19 pandemic made the prior school year challenging for any school—including ours—we are looking forward to a year ahead that holds a promise of more normal patterns—in-person classes, athletics, and a return to dorm life.  

Milton will operate its regular academic program, although we will maintain some health and safety protocols in order to keep our community safe. We invite families to visit our Milton 2021–2022 webpage, which includes important information on Milton’s planning for the upcoming school year. The webpage offers division-specific details on our academic program, our health and safety measures, and frequently asked questions.

Those First Few Days

Our opening-of-school programs are geared toward helping everyone get acclimated to Milton. During the opening of school, all students—new and returning—will engage with each other, faculty, and staff. Each person at our School is a part of our community and contributes to the Milton environment in big and small ways. Dates for the start of programming are as follows:

  • September 1–3: The Transition Program for students of color and international students runs from September 1–3. New boarding students participating in this program will move into their assigned dorm on Wednesday, September 1.
  • September 4–6: The New Student Orientation program required for all new students runs from September 4–6. All new boarding students not participating in the Transition program will move into their assigned dorm on Saturday, September 4.
  • September 5: Returning boarding students begin moving in at noon on Sunday, September 5.
  • September 7: Rosh Hashanah; there is no required programming for students.
  • September 8–10: All-school programming for new and returning students.
  • September 13: Classes begin on Monday, September 13.

For a detailed list of events happening on campus before classes begin, visit the Opening of School calendar.

Welcome Webinar

On August 18, Upper School Principal David Ball, Dean of Students José Ruiz, and Academic Dean Heather Sugrue welcomed students from the Class of 2025 to an hour-long webinar presentation. Watch the video below for an outline of the upcoming year, details on the opening of school, and a Q&A with Milton parents.

Welcome to the Upper School Parents’ Association

The Upper School Parents’ Association (USPA) is a self-sustaining organization dedicated to building community and fostering communication between School administration and parents, and we hold several events for students and parents throughout the year. As an Upper School parent, you are automatically a member of the USPA, and we welcome you to attend our meetings which are held every month via Zoom. These informational sessions are conducted with Head of School Todd Bland, Upper School Principal David Ball, Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner, Academic Dean Heather Sugrue, Dean of Students José Ruiz, and Director of Nursing Peg Reardon, R.N. They will answer your questions and inform you of the latest developments at Milton’s Upper School.

We have an exciting year planned for 2021–2022. We cordially invite you to become involved, whether you live nearby or on another continent. We welcome you to connect with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to foster an engaged parent community.

As a USPA member you can also join PIN (The Parents’ Independent School Network, a volunteer-run, parent organization of Boston-area independent schools), and attend informational meetings on non-academic issues of mutual concern and interest to the parent community. For more information on PIN, visit their Facebook page. You can find more information about upcoming USPA events on our webpage

The faculty, parent, and student events sponsored by the USPA are made possible by your generous contributions of time, funding, and gifts. Your time and effort as volunteers and your parent dues and donations make every USPA event possible. Thank you!

Stay Connected To What’s Happening at Milton

You can connect with goings-on at Milton—formal and informal—and see what students and faculty are doing in several easy ways:

Check the website every day. Milton’s homepage delivers up-to-date news in many forms. Timely feature articles highlight student, faculty, and alumni activities. Video and photos let you in on fun, ceremony, performance, and exhibits.

Set up Milton’s calendar to serve you. Milton’s online calendar includes major and minor events involving Milton students, faculty, or staff. When you explore the calendar, you can add events to your own calendar and sign up for email alerts. You can set it to sync or email a single event or a category of events. You’ll see “Add to my calendar” and “Remind me by email” on the top bar of the calendar listings. Simply decide what works best for you and choose the option you’d like.

Dive deep into Centre Connection, Milton’s online parent newsletter. This newsletter, Centre Connection, is the place to see a full art exhibit; learn about Milton’s performances and who’s participating in them; or hear a presentation by a well-known public figure delivering one of Milton’s endowed lectures. Centre Connection is published five times each year. You’ll enjoy scanning the news updates and fun features.

Follow Milton on Instagram. Worth a thousand words, Instagram posts from Milton (@miltonacademy) capture and share slices of School life. Use the Instagram icon on the homepage to find and follow Milton Academy.

Participate in parent events. The Parents’ Association webpage will update you on parent events, volunteer opportunities, and other news.

Read the student newspapers. Two other informative and often-humorous sources of information are the student newspapers, the Milton Measure and the Milton Paper. We encourage you to consider a subscription to one or both papers, which can come to you via regular mail, email, or both.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

The Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) office continued its work over the summer: hosting a long sought-after Special Olympics Track and Field competition; facilitating tutoring placements with local school age children; transferring 44 cartons of books to More Than Words in Boston; and shipping clothing and PPE donations to Haiti.

“Opportunities for connection, compassion, and hands-on learning together continue to be essential for our students and our partner communities,” said Andrea Geyling-Moore, faculty director of CEPP.

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Student Activities at Milton

Student Activities at Milton

Students are encouraged to download MiltonConnect, a smartphone app that will provide a full slate of activities from the Student Activities Office and from student clubs and organizations across the School.

The app is supported by CampusGroups, a platform Milton began using in 2020–2021 to centralize activities, said Student Activities Director Kelly Reiser.

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What is an Advisor?

What is an Advisor?

An advisor is a faculty or staff member who helps oversee and guide your child’s overall experience at Milton. They are the main communication link between you and the School on matters that relate to your child. Each advisor typically advises four to eight students and many students have the same advisor throughout their Upper School experience.

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New Faculty in 2021

In the 2021–2022 school year, Milton welcomes 16 new faculty members, additions to academic departments across the Upper School as well as the library, Counseling Center, Athletics Department, and the Office of Multiculturalism and Community Development.

Rachael Abernethy joins the English Department. Abernethy comes to Milton from La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego, California, where she taught ninth- and tenth-grade English, advised the Black Student Union and was an assistant varsity girls’ soccer coach. She received her bachelor’s degree in Black Studies from Amherst College, where she also studied Afro-Caribbean culture at the University of Havana. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeanine Bell joins the staff of Cox Library. Bell received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, where she was a humanities fellow, and she attended the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. While at Brandeis, Bell worked as a resource management assistant in the university library and served as the undergraduate representative for the East Asian Studies Department. She is fluent in conversational Japanese and volunteers as a tutor for English-language learners.

Lissa Blanchard joins the staff of the Upper School Counseling Center. Blanchard comes to Milton from Fuller Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where she has worked with children and families as an in-home therapy supervisor, in-home therapist, and partial hospitalization program case manager. Blanchard interned at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Compass School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Blanchard is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Curry College and her master’s in social work from Simmons College.

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Communication from Milton

As a Milton parent, you will hear from the School regularlyfrom updates on important logistical details to highlights of student life. Below are regular communications you can expect from the Upper School:

Deans’ Office Communications
Dean of Students José Ruiz and Academic Dean Heather Sugrue send a biweekly Deans’ Office Newsletter, which contains important updates, key dates, cultural and athletic highlights for the months ahead, and fun weekend activities for day and boarding students. Ms. Sugrue also sends academic updates, including information about faculty comments, grades, exams, and course selection. Assistant Dean of Students André Heard may also provide updates on student life.

Office of Communication
From Milton’s Office of Communication, you will receive this newsletter, Centre Connection, five times a year (August, October, December, February, and April), sharing campus news stories, photos, and video. Communication staff also maintain and the School’s main social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, which provide glimpses into everyday life at Milton.

Milton’s online calendar is updated regularly. It provides detailed information about athletics, performing arts, and key dates throughout the year.

Administrative and Emergency Communication
Principal David Ball and Head of School Todd Bland occasionally email parents about time-sensitive issues of particular importance. Milton uses Rave Alerts to notify parents, students, and employees about weather-related cancellations and delays or campus emergencies. While rare, when needed these communications are sent simultaneously via text messages, phone calls, and emails.

Answers to Your FAQs

How is Milton thinking about academics for the fall? What should I do if I have concerns about my student’s access to technology? How will my child receive feedback this year? Find answers to these and other frequently asked questions.

Opening of School Calendar

Want to learn more about check-in dates, bookstore hours, workshops, or advisor meeting times? Visit the Opening of School calendar for a detailed list of events happening on campus through September 10. On this calendar page, you may use filters in the right column to view only the events that pertain to your student. A link to this Opening of School calendar can also be found in the main navigation of, under the “News” and “Calendar” dropdown menus.

Where Can I….?

…find the schedule of the first few days?
…get my child’s class schedule?
…submit my child’s health forms?
…buy my child’s textbooks?
…get my student identification card?
…get my bus identification?

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Performing Arts at Milton

Milton’s Performing Arts Department provides plenty of chances for students to share their talents, explore new interests, and learn valuable skills. Here are details on some of this fall’s offerings.

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PE and Sports Registration

If students haven’t yet done so, they should log in to myMilton to sign up for a fall physical education course or sport (myRegistration → Athletics). If your student plans to try out for a fall varsity sport, they must also register for pre-season prior to August 27. If at any point they wish to make changes to their athletic status, such as a change of fall sport, please contact Sheila Egan in the athletics department at

Cross Country
For athletes wishing to participate in any level of cross country, practices begin on Wednesday, September 8 at 8 a.m.

Fall Sports Schedules
Boys’ Cross Country
Girls’ Cross Country
Field Hockey
Boys’ Soccer
Girls’ Soccer

Featured Videos

Be "The Light"

Working over Zoom last spring, students in Milton’s Gospel Choir developed a song, “The Light,” which delivers an inspirational and urgent message calling for hope in difficult times.

A Conversation With Victor Wooten

Milton invites numerous talented artists, writers, and musicians to talk with students about their craft. This past spring, jazz musician great, Victor Wooten, talked with students on a number of subjects. Watch this short clip to hear Mr. Wooten’s answer when asked what he does when he’s in a creative rut.

Featured Photo

Visual Arts at Milton

“In the Class IV art program, we’re more interested in the process than in a particular finished product,” says Visual Arts Department Chair Ian Torney. “I pose a creative problem to the students. If 12 people are in the class, I want 12 different responses. In successive courses, students narrow their focus and intensively develop certain skills crucial to a particular art discipline, working to develop one visual concept over the course of a semester. Pushing one big idea as far as it can go is an important experience for students, especially when they hit the wall and have to push through it.”

Pictured above is Frottage Self-Portrait, a Class IV art project created last fall by the talented Emily Huneycutt ’23. Click here to view more work submitted for display by Milton’s artists last year.

The Milton Fund directly impacts the lives of Milton’s students and faculty by providing the funds needed to address the changing needs of the organization in real time. A successful Milton Fund ensures that Milton will continue to thrive today and in the future.

Interested in volunteering for the Milton Fund? Please contact Rosheen Kavanagh, director of the Milton Fund, at or 617-898-2326.

Centre Connection

Centre Connection, Milton's online newsletter for parents, is published five times each year through the efforts of the Milton Academy Communication Office and Parents' Association volunteers.

Communication Office

Sarah Abrams
Marisa Donelan
Eileen Newman
Esten Perez
Gregory White