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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's May 2018 Newsletter

date 5/18/2018

Many schools showed their gratitude during Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Week, held May 7-May 11, with luncheons, flowers and thank you notes from the children. We appreciate our teachers and nurses all year long, and it is great to be able to thank them and recognize them in this way.

As you know, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is just around the corner--some call it the "unofficial" beginning of summer. Our schools are not in session on Monday, Memorial Day. I hope you all have a great long weekend.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 
― Confucius

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

New Belmont School Committee Member Jill Norton May 2018 School Committee Seat: We welcome Jill Norton to the School Committee who was appointed by the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen in a joint meeting on May 11. Ms. Norton was one of four candidates who applied to finish out the remainder of Tom Caputo's term, which ends April 2019. As you know, Mr. Caputo was elected to the Board of Selectmen in the April 3, 2018 election. We look forward to working with Ms. Norton, and we thank all the candidates for their interest.

Belmont High School Building Committee (BHSBC): We are in a busy period of time with the high school building project, leading up to a full MSBA review of the Design Team's submission in late June. The May 8 joint School Committee and Board of Selectmen meeting with the BHSBC provided a design update and a virtual reality presentation of the building from Perkins and Will, the project's design team, which allowed us all to feel like we were walking through the school. We are very excited about the work our Belmont teachers and educators have done with the Design Team to shape the floor plan and design plan. I want to thank them for their time and effort on the project. Please go here to see the latest site plan that was presented at the joint meeting on May 8.

There are more meetings from the BHSBC that are scheduled in June and listed below. As always, please go to belmonthighschoolproject.org for more information. 

  • June 7 - 7:30 a.m. - Design update, summary of building security, zero net energy, and technology designs - Homer Municipal Building 3rd Floor Gallery
  • June 28 - 7:00 p.m. - Joint Meeting with School Committee and Board of Selectmen - Schematic Design presentation followed by public comment and approval for MSBA Board review - Chenery Middle School Community Room

BHS Interim Principal Thomas Brow Belmont High School Principal Search: We are pleased that Thomas Brow will be Interim Principal of Belmont High School for the 2018-2019 school year. He currently serves as one of the high school's assistant principals part time. Tom has served multiple roles within Melrose Public Schools for over 32 years, including middle school assistant principal and one year as interim principal of Melrose High School. After retiring from Melrose Public Schools in 2014, Tom joined Belmont Public Schools in 2014 as interim assistant principal of Chenery Middle School, then as interim assistant principal of Belmont High School, and as an instructional leadership coach in the district. We welcome him to this new role. Please go here for Director of Human Resources Mary Pederson's announcement of his appointment.

FOUNDATION FOR BELMONT EDUCATION (FBE) 

  • The FBE announced 11 Learning Cycle 2 grant awards, totaling $50,684. The FBE awards these grants twice per academic year in fall and spring. We are grateful and thankful to the FBE for awarding more than 750 grants totaling over $3.6 million to the Belmont Public Schools since 1993. Please go here to see the full list summarizing these grants.
  • Dunn, Larkin, Trodden, Cox, LaPolla, Westfall, Gillies-Thibeault Congratulations to this year's FBE Outstanding Teacher Award recipients Colleen Cox, Burbank Elementary School Kindergarten; Erin Gillies-Thibeault, Winn Brook Elementary School Grade 1; Denise LaPolla, Chenery Middle School Special Education; Catherine Larkin Belmont High School Fine Arts-Ceramics; Ted Trodden, Butler Elementary School Physical Education; and Christina Westfall Wellington Elementary School Grade 4. Also awarded was Brian Dunn, Belmont High School Foreign Language-Latin, for the S. Warren Farrell Award for Educational Excellence. The awardees were honored at a reception on May 1 at the Chenery Middle School attended by school and local officials. Please see the BPS website for the "surprise" reactions at their schools when notified last month, and a little bit about the impact these seven educators have had on their peers and students.

SCHOOL NEWS

  • Lesley University Girlhood Project Team Members Twenty BHS students and Assistant Principal Lisa Hurtubise attended The Girlhood Project Celebration on May 1 at Lesley University. Funded with a grant awarded to AP Hurtubise by the Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE), this celebration was the culmination of an eight-week course the students attended at Lesley, led by Dr. Amy Rutstein-Riley and her team of undergraduate and graduate students and research assistants. The celebration included speeches and performances by students and leaders, with many students sharing their experiences of gaining self-confidence and leadership skills. The students were given certificates of completion, a red rose, and a small gift. This project supports the BPS district’s current focus on the social and emotional health and safety of students as critical to their ability to learn. The selected students represent two groups of students who are particularly vulnerable; females and students of color. The BHS students will take what they learned at Lesley and lead training for other BHS students on girlhood education, empowerment, and leadership, and they will create a project for social change in the BHS/Belmont community.
  • BHS students Sofia Schlozman and Marilla Zhu are winners in the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from more than 15,000 Finalists. Congratulations to these students.
  • Congratulations to BHS Seniors James Celi Kitch, Mirilla Zhu, and Nanako Tokuo, who received the 28th annual Lillian F. Blacker Prizes for Excellence in Writing in a ceremony in the Belmont High School library on May 16. Family and friends established these writing awards in memory of Lillian F. Blacker who was a Belmont resident active in community affairs, a former editor of the Belmont Citizen, and director of the Harvard Medical News Office.The Blacker Prizes, awarded by the BHS English Department, are presented each year to three Belmont seniors for their outstanding senior theses. Each senior at Belmont High Schools reads, researches, and writes a lengthy thesis paper investigating a literary topic. The thesis is a graduation requirement at BHS. Members of the high school English Department select the winning papers, and their writers receive scholarship money as prizes for their outstanding work. Lindsey Rinder, Director of English, presided at the event with the assistance of Principal Dan Richards. Lillian Blacker’s daughter, Elissa Levine, spoke about her mother, and Lillian’s granddaughter, Sarah Levine, also attended the ceremony.
  • CMS STEM Fair Chenery Student Council had their STEM Fair on April 28. This event had approximately 50 CMS students participating with 23 student exhibits, such as Battle of the SoapsHow Rockets LaunchFitting an Egg in a Bottleand Show Me Your Cheek Cells, to name a few. CMS Student Council Advisors Leon Dyer and Carla Hawkins say more than 150 people attended this event. A great way to have fun with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
  • Chenery fifth graders worked with Author Julie Berry, who returned to Chenery to work with the fifth grade students in point-of-view workshops as part of the PTO Enrichment Author Program. Students learned about literal and subjective meanings and what influences a writer's point of view. During these workshops they also had to opportunity to create their own stories from different character's perspectives.
  • Butler Multicultural Fair Exhibit Burbank held a Multicultural Night on April 5, where families came together to help share cultures from many countries around the world. Parents provided information at display tables about language, food, geography and cultural history. There were also several performances following the presentations. Organized by the PTA, this night is always a well-attended event.
  • Author Jeff Kinney Visits Butler Grades 3 & 4 Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, visited Butler third and fourth graders on May 11. Mr. Kinney talked about the effort, time, and practice he put into his art for years before finding success. He also talked about how and why he chose to illustrate the way he does. His visit was a great treat for these Butler students.
  • The Butler School had an art show on May 4 featuring the theme, Animals, Animals, Animals! The cafeteria became an art gallery along with art stations set up for families to make all kinds of art. Through BHS community service, high schools students got involved by helping at the art stations.
  • Wellington Science Night Sound-Salt Display Wellington Science Night held on April 12 saw many third and fourth grade scientists displaying their work. A fun night of science organized by the PTO, there were hands-on activities for attendees and exhibits such as How Electricity Gets from Place to Place and Seeing Sound with Salt.
  • Winn Brook Tree Planting Winn Brook first graders participated in welcoming two London plane trees planted near the driveway in front of the school. On hand for this rainy Arbor Day planting were by Belmont’s Tree Warden, Tom Walsh, along with representatives of the Department of Public Works, Selectmen Adam Dash and Mark Paolillo, and a representative from the Shade Tree Commission. The children shared a song and a poem to mark the occasion, and buried a “time capsule” with the tree containing messages from all of the children. 
  • Belmont Against Racism (BAR) is selected as the 2018 Recipient of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) Louise Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award. One of the Professional Learning Teams (PLT) at Belmont High School this year focused on increasing an understanding of the elements of racism and diversity in America and the impact it has on the achievement gap. The PLT group nominated Belmont Against Racism (BAR) for the MTA award in recognition of the work BAR has done over the years to promote an appreciation for diversity, equal opportunities for women and people of color. Congratulations to BAR and the PLT nominating team of Carmen Anderson, Karen Duff, Leon Dyer, Carla Hawkins, Kathryn McLeod, Theresa Milstein, Denise LaPolla, Kimberley Thompson, John Sullivan, on this honor. The BPS is thankful for the support of BAR as a partner in our work to support all students and the METCO Support Fund. The MTA Human Relations Committee will be recognizing BAR at an awards ceremony in June.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

  • Dan Richards, Arto Asadoorian, Robert (Nate) Jones, Paul Ketchen Congratulations to Robert (Nate) Jones for being among the 757 winners selected from over 7,600 applications from across the United States as 2018 YoungArts winners. He was recognized for Jazz/Trombone.
  • The Chenery Middle School Theater presents Bye Bye Birdie in the CMS Auditorium on May 17, 18, and 19 at 7:00 p.m.  Please click here to purchase tickets online. Tickets are also on sale at Champions Sporting Goods in Belmont Center.

ATHLETICS

Here is the latest news from our Athletic Director James Davis:

  • Belmont Boosters April Athletes Meaghan Noone, Girls Softball, and Joe Viale, Boys Rugby Congratulations to the Belmont Boosters April Athletes of the Month are Meaghan Noone, Girls Softball, and Joe Viale, Boys Rugby.
  • Spring Teams participated in the annual pulling and placing of American flags at the Grove St Cemetery during April Break for the Memorial Day holiday. Bob Upton, Belmont Veterans Liaison expressed his deepest appreciation for the help and support the student athletes provided again this year.
  • A new Scoreboard and Timing system was recently installed in the BHS Swimming Pool. Thank you to the Boosters & Belmont Saving Bank for their financial contributions to this project. This will allow for fully automatic timing to take place for home swim meets with times displayed on the new scoreboard. This project was spearheaded by John Doherty so a huge thanks John as well for his hard work in making this project happen.
  • Special thanks from BHS Boys and Girls Track teams to Heather and Ara Krafian for their handy work in putting together the new Hurdle Transport carts for the teams. The Athletes love them, and it makes it much easier to move the hurdles around for meets and practices.
  • BHS Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams held a Youth Lacrosse Day at Harris Field on April 28.  Special thanks to Ian Findlay who helped organize and coordinate the event with our coaches, players and Belmont Youth Lacrosse.

Athletics Save the Dates:
  • The Belmont Boosters New England Patriots Celebrity Basketball Team vs Belmont Boosters "All-Stars" is on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the BHS Field House. Please see the BPS website for tickets and information.
  • Brendan Grant Baseball tournament is slated for May 25 and May 26. Teams participating this year along with Belmont High will be Reading HS, Burlington HS, and Lynnfield HS.
  • Spring Athletic Awards Night is scheduled for Tuesday June 5 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Fall Sports Sign up for incoming 9th graders will take place at the Chenery Middle School on May 30 during their 8th grade assembly.
  • Fall Sports Sign Up for current 9-11 grade students will take place after school on June 12.

SAVE THE DATE

Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston and a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will present "Why Start School Later?" at the May 22 School Committee Meeting at the Chenery Middle School Community Room at 7:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

CALENDAR

Below are some events going on through May into June. Please check school websites and communications for any additional events, information or changes in dates, times and venues.

DATE/TIME-PLACE/EVENT

  • May 17, 18, 19 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - The Chenery Middle School Theater presents Bye Bye Birdie
  • May 17 - 6:00 p.m. - Winn Brook Multicultural Night
  • May 18 - Last Day of Classes for BHS Seniors ONLY
  • May 18 - Students report at 4:15 p.m. - Junior/Senior Prom
  • May 19 - 6:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - Asian Culture Night
  • May 21-25 - BHS Senior Exams Week
  • May 22 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting - Dr. Judith Owens Presents "Why Start School Later?" 7:45p-9p
  • May 23 - 6:30 p.m. - BHS Field House - New England Patriots Celebrity Basketball Team vs Belmont Boosters "All-Stars"
  • May 25 - CMS Music Festival
  • May 28 - Memorial Day Holiday - School Not In Session
  • May 30 - Early Release All Schools
  • May 30 - During Eighth Grade Assembly - CMS - Fall Sports Sign Up for Incoming BHS Gr. 9 Students
  • May 31 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - CMS 7 and 8 Grade Chorus/Orchestra Concert
  • June 2 - BHS - SAT/ACT Testing
  • June 3 - BHS Graduation
  • June 4 - 7:00 p.m. CMS Auditorium - CMS 7 and 8 Grade Band Concert
  • June 5 - 5:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - BHS Spring Athletic Awards
  • June 5 - 6:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - Retiree Reception (6p) & Recognition (6:30p) and School Committee Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
  • June 7 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - CMS 6 Grade Band/Orchestra/Chorus Concert
  • June 9 - BHS - SAT/ACT Testing
  • June 12 - After School - Fall Sports Sign Up for Current BHS 9-11 Grade Students
  • June 19 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting
  • June 20 - Last Day of School - Early Release All Grades

 



CMS STEM Fair  BHS Interim Principal Thomas Brow  New Belmont School Committee Member Jill Norton May 2018  Dunn, Larkin, Trodden, Cox, LaPolla, Westfall, Gillies-Thibeault  Lesley University Girlhood Project Team Members  Author Julie Berry with CMS Fifth Graders  Butler Multicultural Fair Exhibit  Butler Animals Art Show  Author Jeff Kinney Visits Butler Grades 3 & 4  Wellington Science Night Sound-Salt Display  Winn Brook Tree Planting  Dan Richards, Arto Asadoorian, Robert (Nate) Jones, Paul Ketchen  Belmont Boosters April Athletes Meaghan Noone, Girls Softball, and Joe Viale, Boys Rugby 



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  • Administration: 617-993-5400
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