This newsletter runs the gamut from a visit by a Super Bowl champion to a pie competition celebrating Pi Day. Please take a look below at all the events happening at our schools and great work from our teachers and students.
“The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth”
Belmont High School Building Committee: The Belmont High School Building Committee (BHS-BC) is hosting its first community forum on Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Beech Street Center. On this night the public will meet the Owner's Project Manager (OPM) and get an update from BHS-BC Chair William Lovallo, as well as see a presentation from me on educational programming and grade configurations. There will be a Q&A after. For more information on the project, please see the BHS-BC website: http://www.belmont-ma.gov/belmont-high-school-building-committee.
Wellington and Winn Brook School Presentations: In an effort to showcase the work of our building principals, the School Committee is asking each principal to present at a School Committee meeting for the 2016-2017 school year. Two schools presented at the March 28 meeting. For the full presentations to the School Committee, please go here for Wellington, and here for Winn Brook.
Music Program Changes: At the January 24 School Committee meeting, Visual and Performing Arts Director Arto Asadoorian presented a new Plan of Action, identifying opportunities to strengthen the instrumental music program. At the March 28 meeting, I updated the School Committee on the meeting I had with parents concerned about the music changes for the 2017-2018 school year. Although I understand the concerns of parents, I would like to express my full support for Arto Asadoorian and his staff who made this proposal for next year. Please look here for the January 24 presentation and here for his letter sent to Belmont School families on March 28 describing these changes in detail.
MCAS Update: The State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has mandated that all Grades 4 and 8 students use computers for the MCAS, and other grades, not under a mandate this year, will be using the paper-based test. Therefore, given that each student needs access to a computer, students will be tested throughout April to May. Other grades over the next few years will also be required to switch from paper to computer. The district has a plan for adding technology capacity and increasing access for all grades, developed using the data from the technology surveys administered in the fall to educators. This technology plan was presented to the School Committee on March 28 along with Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias' MCAS presentation. Please go here for the technology plan, and here for the MCAS presentation. Please also look for communications from your school for test dates.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Raising Resilient Kids: Come to this year’s social and emotional learning presentation to learn about resilience, how to foster it at home, and how we’re fostering it in the schools. This presentation is part of the district’s social and emotional learning initiative, generously funded by the Foundation for Belmont Education. Choose the presentation that best fits your children and/or your schedule.
Monday, April 3
Chenery Middle School Auditorium
Middle and High School Presentation
Wednesday, April 5
Belmont High School Auditorium
KINDERGARTEN PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT
A general information and orientation program for all parents of incoming kindergarten students is scheduled, as follows. Each elementary school will host its own program at each school.
Butler School: Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 PM
Burbank School: Thursday, March 30 at 6:30 PM
Wellington School: Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 PM
Winn Brook School: Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 PM
Superbowl Champion and Patriot's wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell visited Butler on March 23, to share his enthusiasm for reading and a children's book he authored called, "The Magician's Hat". He spoke about his own reading journey, and how reading is magical, and had a magician perform magic tricks with audience participation. Then, he and all the students read the book aloud. All the students received a copy of his book, thanks to community donors and the PTA. He brought an inspiring story of reading to Butler, thanks to Reading Specialist Alyssa Greene who reached out to him. You can see the segment on CBS local news here.
- Chenery Multi-Cultural Night, held on March 23, had attendance of 300 people, a larger than expected turnout. The night had interactive cultural demonstrations, immigration stories from the Chenery community, and short films and discussions. A very successful event.
Burbank had its 22nd Annual Geography Challenge on March 23 and 24, and reportedly had more than 255 students participate on 75 teams in this two-day event, making it the largest challenge in recent history. Students who elect to participate form teams of three or four members and answer questions found in the Study Guide, which is distributed ahead of time. A non-competitive way to have fun with geography.
Wellington Winter Carnival was a huge success, held on March 18. There was a book sale and raffle along with carnival games, crafts, and face painting. A great way to spend a Saturday.
- Seventh Grade English Language Arts Teacher Lucy Osborn organized a "poetry slam" for students held on March 17. Students from each class read their poems to an audience of teachers, students, and parents. A great way to connect students to their writing. See the article in the Belmont Citizen Herald.
Winn Brook, as part of their SEL initiative, has celebrated diversity by asking each child, with parent support, to create a figure representing the country their family comes from, which was then displayed throughout the school. A visual reminder of the many different cultures that make up the Winn Brook Family.
The second annual staff Pie Competition at CMS celebrating Pi Day had 14 staff-baked pies to sample. The competition had judges, and the winners were chosen from categories of cream/custard, fruit, and chocolate. Judging aside, all the pies were enjoyed.
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
- The Belmont Media Center is featuring select pieces of sixth grade artwork exploring themes from nature. Works include paintings, fiber arts pieces, and chalk pastel drawings. The show runs from March 10 to April 25.
- Sixth grade students are showing a photo display entitled, "Just Because", during the month of April in the Chenery library.
- A selected number of Art Teacher Kathleen Byrne's students have been chosen to participate in an Art Education showcase, held by the Department of Art at UMass-Amherst. The goal is to showcase visual art teachers and their programs in public schools. The show is at the Herter Gallery from April 2 through April 9, and will include artwork by teachers and students.
- On March 7, the BHS Jazz Collective performed at the MAJE Northeast District festival and earned a Gold Medal, which advanced the band to the MAJE State Finals for the second time in three years. On Saturday, March 18, the Jazz Collective performed along with over 20 of the top jazz bands in the state. Following Their set, adjudicators presented Outstanding Soloist Awards to Honor Hickman (tenor sax, flute), Nate Jones (trombone), Alex Park (trumpet) and David Korn (vocals). Also, Nate Jones was recognized as the Most Valuable Player among all 13 bands competing in Division 1. The BHS Jazz Collective was one of a select few bands to receive a Gold Medal at State Finals, and along with it an invitation to the MAJE Gold Medal Showcase on May 14, at the Memorial Hatch Shell in Boston - a first for Belmont. Congratulations to these students and the faculty.
- The BHS spring musical Chicago was a huge success, featuring more than 80 BHS students in the cast. Congratulations to all the students on the stage and behind the scenes, and to Director Ezra Flam.
February Boosters Athletes of the Month are:
Male: Paul Ramsey; BHS Boys Basketball
Female: Danielle Kelly, Soleil Tseng, Emily Duffy, and Julia Cella; Girls Indoor Track 4x100 relay team
BHS Winter Sports Records
- Girls Basketball: Jenny Call set a record for seven 3 pointers in a single game on March 3 in Belmont vs. Triton Regional, MIAA second round tournament game
- Girls Indoor Track: Anoush Krafian on February 15 in the 55M Hurdles at 8.66; and Danielle
- Julia Martin, skiing for the Massachusetts State High School Ski Team, won the Eastern High School Championships at Attitash, NH on March 11 and 12. The Eastern High School Championships are the highest level of ski racing for high school athletes in the eastern U.S.
Boys Varsity Indoor Track
Sportsmanship Award: Jason Berger
Coaches Award: Bryan Huang
Boys Junior Varsity Indoor Track
Sportsmanship Award: Aidan Wills
Coaches Award: Jack Kane
Girls Varsity Indoor Track
Sportsmanship Award: Ally Meringer
Coaches Award: Giulia Rufo
Girls Junior Varsity Indoor Track
Sportsmanship Award: Samantha Dignan
Coaches Award: Kiara Santos
Boys Varsity Hockey
Sportsmanship Award: Austin Cole
Coaches Award: Kevin Quirk
Boys Junior Varsity Hockey
Sportsmanship Award: Joseph O’Leary
Coaches Award: Daniel Barmakian
Girls Varsity Hockey
Sportsmanship Award: Morgan Chase
Coaches Award: Amanda Hanley
Girls Junior Varsity Hockey
Sportsmanship Award: Kendall Whalen
Coaches Award: Molly Dacey
Boys Varsity Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Nick Volante
Coaches Award: Paul Ramsey
Boys Junior Varsity Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Mac Annus
Coaches Award: Aidan Fox
Boys Freshman Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Michael Giangregorio
Coaches Award: Joseph George Carey
Girls Varsity Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Reagan Haight
Coaches Award: Margaux d’Arbeloff
Girls Junior Varsity Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Alexandra Keefe
Coaches Award: Julia Casey
Girls Freshman Basketball
Sportsmanship Award: Katie Reynolds
Coaches Award: Hanna Polyak
Boys Varsity Swim Team
Sportsmanship Award: Owen Luo
Coaches Award: Spencer Fan
Boys Varsity Wrestling
Sportsmanship Award: Omer Rona
Coaches Award: Mizuki Kobayashi
Boys Junior Varsity Wrestling
Sportsmanship Award: Andrew Choy
Coaches Award: Mody Abdel-Salam
Boys Varsity Skiing
Sportsmanship Award: Tommy Slap
Coaches Award: Drew Bodmer
Boys Junior Varsity Skiing
Sportsmanship Award: Ethan Brooks
Coaches Award: Dan Tolan
Girls Varsity Skiing
Sportsmanship Award: Liza Hote
Coaches Award: Julia Martin
Girls Junior Varsity Skiing
Sportsmanship Award: Isabelle Dalby
Coaches Award: Isabelle Maniscalco
Winter Varsity Cheer
Sportsmanship Award: Eliza Murtaugh
Coaches Award: Ava Sullivan
Winter Middlesex League Awards
Girls Indoor Track
Boys Indoor Track
Calvin Perkins – Co-MVP
Boys Ice Hockey
Below are some of the numerous events going on through April. Please check school websites and communications for more events and any additional information or changes in dates, times, and venues.
DATE/TIME - PLACE/EVENT
April 1 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - BHS Field House - String-O-Rama; all-town strings concert
April 1 - 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - BHS Field House - Band-O-Rama; all-town band concert
April 3 through 7 - BHS Diversity Week
April 3 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Raising Resilient Kids - BPS Presentation for Elementary Parents
April 5 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - BHSAuditorium - Raising Resilient Kids - BPS Presentation for Middle and High School Parents
April 5 - 8:00 a.m. - BHS - Distracted Driving Simulation (weather permitting) - Limited student parking
April 6 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - Jazz Night with performances by the Chenery Jazz Band and the BHS Jazz Collective, featuring guest clinician and artist, George Murphy, and sponsored by Parents of Music Students (POMS) - free to the public
April 7 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - CMS Cafeteria - Grade 8 Dance
April 7 through 9 - BHS Homework Free Weekend
April 8 - BHS - ACT Testing
April 9 - BHS Auditorium - 7:00 p.m. - Belmont Idol
April 11 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting
April 12 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Parent/Teacher Band Concert
April 13 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Wellington Cafeteria - Third and fourth grade Science Night
April 17-April 21 - Spring Break - No Schools in Session
April 25 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - Belmont/Lexington Band Exchange
April 27 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - CMS Honors Concert
April 27 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Winn Brook Math Night
April 27 and 28 - No School for Kindergarten Students
April 30 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - BHS Track - Becca Pizzi Fun Run; See Belmont Boosters website for more information