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644 Pleasant Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5400

Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's March 9, 2018 Newsletter

3/9/2018

March is certainly "In like a Lion..." as the saying goes. Hard to believe spring is a little over a week away on March 20, and daylight savings time begins this Sunday, March 11, where we turn our clocks forward by one hour. Given the weather, this is a great time to be indoors enjoying all the wonderful events at our schools, as you can see from the calendar below.

“It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” 
― Albert Einstein

SNOW DAY COMMUNICATION

The March 8 decision to cancel school was tricky to predict. It was not evident until late evening regarding the timing and scope of the storm. I apologize for the late call on the night of March 7, as it was done in an attempt to give you the information in as timely a manner as possible. We want you to know the BPS administration makes decisions on inclement weather delays or school closings over a period of days which involve multiple calls with Town Officials and Department Heads. To help families and staff plan, our past practice has been to let the BPS community know as soon as possible of a delay or closing. I appreciate your patience.

MARCH 14; 17 MINUTES FOR THE 17 VICTIMS OF PARKLAND, FLORIDA

As my communication to you stated last week, we are aware some students want to take part in a "walk out" at their schools to show support for the Parkland, Florida community. Principals, educators, and students have met to outline participation in a way that is safe for our students and staff. These plans were made with the guidance of the Belmont Police and Fire Department leadership. Belmont High School Principal Dan Richards and Chenery Middle School Principal Mike McAllister will be communicating with parents at their schools to give further guidance on the plans for each of their events. Please be reminded we will not have any events at our elementary schools. For safety purposes, given the size of our student body and staff, parents and community members are respectfully not invited to participate.  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

District Reconfiguration for the BHS Building Project: We have established a 7-12 Steering Committee of educators to work with our Design Team on the new BHS building project. This committee will play a vital role in providing a teacher voice during the next phase of the project.

It is important to note that the district also has plans to discuss the configuration shifts in our K-6 grades. As discussed by our School Committee, our K-6 grades have been aligned in the configuration of four K-3 Primary Schools and one Upper Elementary School consisting of grades 4-6.

Please know that although we are focusing on the 7-12 work with the Design Team due to project deadlines, we will be providing ample opportunity for our educators and parents during the 2018-2019 school year and beyond to give their input. We are fortunate to have “time on our side” to gather this information for our lower grades.

FY19 Budget: The FY19 school budget was presented at the February 27 School Committee meeting and again at the joint session of Board of Selectmen and the Warrant Committee on March 1. We will continue to review the budget with the Leadership Council in preparation for the presentation at Town Meeting in May. We would like to thank the members of the Warrant Committee Education Subcommittee for the many meetings they attended with our School Committee on this budget. Please see the Budget Executive Summary here, and the Budget Presentation here

Wellington and Belmont High School Principal Searches: The two principal search committees, made up of staff, parents and administrators, have met this week to begin the work of screening the applicants and prepare for interviews in the coming days. We look forward to meeting the new candidates and creating a list of finalists to bring to the Superintendent’s office. Please keep in mind there will be open interviews with parents and staff as part of this process. Below are the dates to meet the finalists; more information will follow from Director of Human Resources Mary Pederson.

Wellington Elementary School
March 19 & 21
3:00-4:00 Meet with faculty 
7:00-8:00 Meet with parents 
Belmont High School
April 2 & 4     
2:45-3:45 Meet with BHS faculty & staff      

7:00-8:00 Meet with parents 

Later Start and After School Care Policy Subcommittee Meeting: The School Committee policy subcommittee met on March 6 to discuss a later start time for the high school and the current space availability of after care programs. We will provide information from that meeting on these issues during the policy subcommittee update at the School Committee meeting on March 13. 

School Calendar for 2018-2019: The school calendar for 2018-2019 was voted on by the School Committee on February 27. Please go here to see the calendar.

BELMONT SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Please see the BPS website for information on the sessions and how to register for the 2018 Summer Enrichment program offered by BPS. Always a well-attended program, this year there is an early drop off option and new courses.

KINDERGARTEN PARENT INFORMATION NIGHTS FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019

Please go to your district school open house for Kindergarten Parent Information Night, as the curriculum covered is applicable to all elementary schools.  Please also note this night is for Adults Only.

Burbank: Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Butler: Thursday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m.

Wellington: Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Winn Brook: Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m.

SCHOOL NEWS

  • Tanglewood Marionettes perform for Wellington kindergarteners Wellington kindergarten classes had a Valentine's Day treat with a performance of Cinderella by the Tanglewood Marionettes, brought in by the Wellington PTO. The puppeteers showed the students a few different types of puppets before the performance, which was well-enjoyed by the students.
  • Winn Brook Wacky Olympics Winn Brook held a "Wacky Olympics" on February 16, where staff and students came together to promote community spirit and teamwork. All the students and most staff member competed in multi-age teams. Physical Education Teacher Wayne Franey designed the races which included racing with a rubber chicken on a scooter board and an octopus on a paddle. A great way to connect as a school community
  • Burbank STEM Night 2018 Burbank PTA STEM Night had many activities organized by students and parents. An annual event that is always a crowd-pleaser.
  • Butler raised $394 for Cradles to Crayons in partnership with BHS and their PJ drive. A donation of $1 gave the opportunity to wear pajamas to school on February 14.
  • The Butler PTA hosted a very successful Library Night on February 9 which featured a read-aloud by Principal Danielle Betancourt and Belmont Library Children's Librarian Rachel Overbeck as well as storytelling by professional storyteller Tony Toledo.
  • Discovery Museum visit to Butler First Grade Classrooms 2018 The Butler PTA provided a visit from The Discovery Museum for all of Butler's first grade classrooms for a presentation of Color and Light to complement their Sound and Light Science unit, and for the field trip to MIT, where the third grade classes created their own flashlights using electrical circuits.
  • The BHS Social/Emotional Learning Committee has a new Daily Time Management Calendar to help student balance activities, course load, and decide what courses to select for next year based on amount of hours spend on homework. It is available on the BHS website under the Students tab as well as under Guidance – Course selection (http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bps/bhs/Students/Time-Management-Calculator
  • Eight Grade Elective Art Show The CMS eighth grade elective art students had a show that examined their relationship with technology called, #(Dis)Connect; An Introspective of our Relationship with Technology, held on February 14. There were pieces that address how technology can make us feel more connected with each other and how it can make us feel more apart. Included were 2D works from electives, Drawing & Painting and Printmaking, as well as 3D works from Sculpture and from the new elective, Ceramics. This year, the students took the audience on a guided tour of the show and a silent tour, where student recordings played in the spiral staircase. A great show, thanks to the students and CMS Art Teachers Steve Berson, Kathleen Byrnes, Katie Kelley, and Sarah  Libertini.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

  • The BHS Jazz Collective received a Gold medal and three students from the band were recognized by adjudicators as MVP's at the annual MAJE Northeast District Jazz Festival on March 6 along. They performed with more than a dozen bands from schools in the northeast. Congratulations to MVP's Honor Hickman, Grade 10, Tenor Sax; Anthony Haddad, Grade 10, Bass; Nate Jones, Grade 10, Trombone. In addition, the Jazz collective will be performing at the MAJE Sate Finals on March 18 at Norwood High School. Congratulations to the BHS Jazz Collective:
    Jason Chen (9)
    Eleanor Dash (12)
    Garrett Eagar (10)
    Toby Green (12)
    Anthony Haddad (10)
    Honor Hickman (10)
    Ethan Jin (10)
    Camden Johnson (9)
    Nate Jones (10)
    Phil Lynch (11)
    Sanya Malhora (10)
    Colin Martin (9)
    Jonathan Messer (10)
    Alex Park (11)
    Chloe Park (10)
    Eliana Roberts (11)
    Lila Searls (11)
    Joshua Wan (11)
    Allan Wang (10)
    Henry Zuccarello (9)
  • Eleven BHS students just had a wonderful experience performing at Symphony Hall in the MMEA All-State Festival on March 3. In addition, seventy-seven BHS & CMS students will participate in the MMEA Northeast Junior District Festival next week (3/14, 3/16, 3/17).

  • BHS Marching Marauder Band at Disney World in Florida 2018 BHS Jazz Collective at Disney World in Florida 2018 The Belmont High School Marching Marauders and the BHS Jazz Collective traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, during the February recess. They were invited to perform in the official parade route through Disney's Magic kingdom, and the Jazz Collective was invited to perform at the Waterside Stage in Disney Springs. The bands were selected from a pool of applicants through a screening process which included a video review of past performances. In addition, they were able to participate in Performance Worships with Disney professionals. This provided students the opportunity to work in a recording student environment and experience the work of professional studio musicians, including sight reading new music, rehearsing with an unfamiliar conductor, and creating a final recording set to Disney animation. Congratulations to BHS Band Director Paul Ketchen and all the students.

Please see the calendar below for upcoming performance dates at CMS and BHS, including the BHS spring musical.

ATHLETICS

  • The BHS Girls Basketball team go the Finals of the MIAA Div. 1 North Tournament on March 10 at 6:00 p.m. Admission Prices are $13 for adults, and $8 for students.  Please go here to purchase tickets online. They will play the winner of the Central Catholic vs Lowell HS game.
  • Congratulations to Belmont High School Indoor Track Athletes Anoush Krafian and Calvin Perkins on being crowned MIAA State Indoor Track Champions Anoush received first place in the 55m Hurdles, and Calvin received first place in the 600 Meter Run.
  • The following members of the BHS Girls and Boys Indoor Track teams will be competing at the New Balance Scholastic National Championship Meet at he Armory Track Complex in New York City on March 9, 10, and 11:
    Calvin Perkins, Emily Duffy, Soleil Tseng, and Max Serrano-wu in the Mixed Gender 4x400 relay;
    Anoush Krafian in the Pentathlon;
    Calvin Perkins, Bryan Huang, Mel Nagashima, and Max Serrano-Wu in the Spring Medley Relay;
    Calvin Perkins in the Open 400m

CALENDAR

Below are some of the numerous events going on through March. Please check school websites and communications for more events and any additional information or changes in dates, times and venues.

DATE/TIME-PLACE/EVENT

March 8-12 - Grove Hall Library, 41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester - 4th Annual METCO Art Show featuring the art of our Boston based Chenery students

March 9 - Working to Help the Homeless Coffeehouse Fundraiser at BHS

March 10 - SAT Testing at BHS

March 11  - The Fourth Annual Boston Belmont Friends Group Family Bowling Event, 4:00 pm-6:00 pm at Boston Bowl, come bowl have pizza, 820 William T. Morrissey Blvd. Dorchester, funding from Belmont Against Racism

March 12 - 7:00 p.m. - Grade 7/8 Band

March 13 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

March 14 - Elementary Early Release

March 15 - 6:00 p.m. - Winter Athletic Awards at BHS

March 15 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Winn Brook PTA Science Night

March 16-17 - Junior District Festival

March 17 -  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - BHS Field House - Wellington Carnival

March 17 - 7:00 pm at Belmont Hill - FBE Annual Fundraiser

March 19 - 7:00 p.m. - Grade 7/8 Chorus, Orchestra

March 21 - Elementary Early Release

March 22, 23, 24 - 7:00 p.m. each night with additional show at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, 3/24 - BHS Auditorium - BHS Musical 9 to 5: The Musical. For ticket information, please see the PAC website.

March 26 - Saturday Morning Music School Concert

March 27 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

March 28 - 7:00 p.m. - Butler Cafeteria - Belmont SEPAC Resource Fair


Eight Grade Elective Art Show  Winn Brook Wacky Olympics  Butler Library Night with professional storyteller Tony Toledo  Discovery Museum visit to Butler First Grade Classrooms 2018  Burbank STEM Night 2018  Tanglewood Marionettes perform for Wellington kindergarteners  BHS Marching Marauder Band at Disney World in Florida 2018  BHS Jazz Collective at Disney World in Florida 2018 



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  • Administration: 617-993-5400
  • High School: 617-993-5900 
  • Chenery Middle School: 617-993-5800 
  • Butler School: 617-993-5550 
  • Burbank School: 617-993-5500 
  • Wellington School: 617-993-5600 
  • Winn Brook School: 617-993-5700
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