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Parent/Guardian January 2017 Newsletter

Jan 12

Thursday, January 12, 2017  RssIcon

  • 1/13/2017 (F) All Day CMS Student Council: Chenery/Belmont/Boston Spirit Day
  • 1/16/2017 (M) All Day No School: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • 1/16/2017 (M) 9:00-11:00am MLK Community Breakfast at Belmont High School
  • 1/18/2017 (W) All Day CMS Student Council: Anti-Bullying Orange Shirt Day
  • 1/18/2017 (W) 6:30pm Parent Presentation: “Navigating the Cyber World”
  • 1/19/2017 (Th) 7:00pm CMS Fine & Performing Arts: Honors Chamber Concert
  • 1/20/2017 (F) 7:00pm CMS Student Council: Ice Skating Night

Modular Classrooms Update: I received the following message on Thursday of last week from our Coordinated Facilities Office regarding our move to the modular classrooms: “I recommend...that we push back our schedule one week.  Although we have worked with Triumph [Modulars] and others to identify the issues with the fire alarm system, ...we cannot guarantee the fire alarm system will be inspected in time for a Certificate of Occupancy by Friday.  We will continue with all our other preparations as planned with the exception of the teacher's final packing and moving...until the building inspector is satisfied.”  Thus, it looks like we will be shooting for a MLK Weekend move.

A message from our school nurse: At this time of year we expect to see both influenza and gastrointestinal (GI) illness occurring in our schools. Please know that your child’s school nurses takes time to monitor the absentee rate, as well as the reason each child is out sick. This way she can see if there is an increase in flu like illness or GI illness. By doing so, efforts can be taken to work to prevent the further spread of any contagious illness and keep your child in school and learning. What can you do to help? Please remember to keep your child home from school for 24 hours following any vomiting, diarrhea, and/or a temperature greater than 100.0 without fever reducing medication and when calling to report your child absent from school, please include any of these symptoms to assist us in monitoring illnesses affecting  your child’s school.

Also, if your child is out of school for a prolonged period of time or is hospitalized, please call your child’s school nurse before returning to school so plans can be made to ensure the safest and smooth transition of your child back to school.

Once the first of the new year comes your school nurse begins preparing to ensure that all current students have what is required to enroll in the next school year. Massachusetts General Law requires periodic physical exams for all students.  Students entering grade  4, 7 and 10 must present a current physical examination and updated immunization record. Please remember to provide your school nurse with a copy of your child’s most current physical exam dated after August 1, 2016. To know if your child’s immunizations are up to date, please consult with your pediatrician. Required immunizations by grade level can be found at:

- Mary Conant-Cantor RN, Director of Nursing

Bus Lane (Morning Arrival/Afternoon Dismissal): Please be aware when buses are loading and unloading our students. It is against the law for any vehicle to pass a flashing “red-light” stopped school bus—even when the flashing “red-light” school bus is located in the bus lane on school grounds. Thank you for your cooperation.

Ramp Access: When picking up or dropping off students (both in the rear of the school and in the front of the school) please be mindful not to block the wheelchair ramps.

Grade 5 Ecology School Update: Many of you will be relieved when I inform you that after months of work we have finally identified one site that fits our rigorous criteria for this year’s Grade 5 students to attend a culminating overnight field trip.  We have completed a formal site visit and are in the final stages of executing a contract this week.  As soon as I have final information to share I will let the entire Chenery community know.  In the meantime, thank you to Director of Science Elizabeth Baker, the Grade 5 Math/Science Teachers (especially Nicolette Foundas and Yasmin Khan, who participated in the site visit process), and all of the parents who sent in suggestions and helped in our research of available options.  It has taken a lot of work and we are getting close!

MLK Breakfast: Please consider attending the 23rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast on MLK Day (Monday, January 16th) @ 9:00am-11:00am in the Belmont High School Cafeteria.  This year’s breakfast features headliner Dorothy Stoneman, Founder of YouthBuild, Civil Rights Activist, and a panel of METCO Alumni and Friends.  Tickets are $5 per person/$10 per family (at the door).  Pastries, fruit, and beverages will be provided.  Student musical entertainment will be provided.  Children of all ages are welcome and childcare and gym activities will be provided during the talks.  If you would like to register in advance, email or call the Belmont Human Rights Commission at or 617-993-2795.  Preregistration is appreciated, but not required.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the METCO program and its 46th year in Belmont.  Donations will be accepted at the breakfast for the Belmont Schools’ and BAR METCO Support Fund.

Belmont High School Parent Information Night: The 8th Grade Parent Information Night for Belmont High School will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 from 6:00pm-8:15pm  at the high school.  This is the correct date. The wrong date was listed on the website and calendar last week, but has since been updated. Please feel free to call the Belmont High School Main Office at (617) 993-5901 if you have any questions.

Green Corner: Did your family receive new clothes or stuffed animals for the holidays and now you want to get rid of your old ones? Please don’t throw them in the trash! As long as textiles are clean and dry they can be donated and/or recycled. For recycling purposes don’t worry if they are worn, torn, permanently stained or missing a button or zipper. Some examples of textiles are: clothing, shoes, handbags, sheets, towels and draperies. Here is a list of textiles that can be recycled:

Below are some ways to recycle textiles:

  • Drop off at DPW Recycle Days, held in May and October.
  • Call for a pick-up at your home from your favorite local charity.
  • Use textiles boxes located around town.
  • St. Vincent de Paul boxes behind St. Joseph’s Church via Orchard St.
  • Planet Aid boxes are located on Lexington St.  at Thayer Rd. or Mill St. at Concord Ave.

Any questions or suggestions, please contact Mary Beth Calnan/Belmont Recycling Coordinator at or 617-993-2689.

Parent/Guardian Workshop: On 1/18/2017 the Chenery Guidance Department will hold a special Parent/Guardian workshop entitled, “Navigating the Cyber World.” Geared for parents/guardians, this workshop reviews the challenges and dangerous situations that may arise through the use of the internet, social media, and smart phones.  It is important for parents to be aware of the popular apps, social media sites, and programs by youth online.  This workshop also explains the issues and possible consequences such as cyber bullying, sexting, and revealing identifying information to strangers.

Date: Wednesday, 1/18/2017

Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Location: Chenery Middle School, Auditorium Open to: Parents/Guardians of children in the Belmont Public Schools and members of the Belmont community Guest Speaker: Camila Barrera, Prevention and Education Coordinator, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc

Private School Applications: If you are planning on applying to private schools for your child for the 2017-2018 school year, please note that the private school application process has begun.  Please refer to the guidelines posted on the Counseling Plus Portal Page for step-by-step directions to ensure that the private school application process runs smoothly for students, teachers, and counselors.  All application packets need to be received at least 3 weeks prior to the private school's specific application deadline. Application packets received with less than three weeks notice will be processed in the order they are received.  Please contact your child’s counselor if you have any questions.

5th Annual CMS Talent Show: The talent show is a wonderful opportunity for CMS students to share their many talents and be a part of a community-building event. Students get to showcase their passions and develop their confidence and grit as they perform in front of their peers.  In the past, singers, musicians, dance groups, and other performing artists have graced the stage. We hope that your child will consider participating.  The show will be held on January 26, 2017.

“But They're Plastic!”: There is confusing news on straws, forks, knives and spoons!  Unless they are specially made of paper or compostable or biodegradable materials, straws, plastic forks, knives and spoons are not recyclable in Belmont!  Landfills are full of straws. According to EcoCycle, a zero-waste website, “500 million straws are used in the US each day” (and a few thousand at Chenery alone!).  They estimate that that many straws could fill 127 school buses per day. So the sooner we can begin to use fewer straws, the better.  It is never too soon (or too late) to start!

Plastic spoons, knives and forks are not recyclable for two main reasons: They are usually made of a combination of polystyrene and polypropylene and they generally fall through the cracks or get stuck in the recycling sorting machines.

This is why environmentalists never take a straw and they choose wisely whether they really need a plastic spoon or knife or not. Just one or two changes can make a healthy world of difference!

PTO Parent Education Night: The Chenery PTO will be showing “Screenagers,”  a film that probes the vulnerable corners of family life, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.  Check out: for more information.

Calendar updates: If you would like to view the school calendar, it is available at:

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