News & Calendars

School News

School Newsletter - 10/18 - 10/31

Oct 19

Thursday, October 19, 2017  RssIcon


Wednesday, October 18-Tuesday, October 31, 2017
  • 10/18   (W)      11:30am-2:30pm         Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences: Day #1 (of 6)
  • 10/19   (Th)     All Day                        Religious Holiday: Diwali (Hinduism)
  • 10/19   (Th)     6:00-7:30pm    Chenery PTO: Pasta Dinner for Grade 5 in Cafeteria
  • 10/20   (F)        All Day                        Religious Holiday: Bestu Varas (Hinduism)
  • 10/25   (W)      All Day                        CMS Student Council: Orange Shirt Day for Anti-Bullying
  • 10/25   (W)      11:30am-2:30pm         Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences: Day #2 (of 6)
  • 10/27   (F)        7:00-9:00pm    CMS Student Council: Halloween Dance for Grades 7 & 8
  • 10/28   (Sa)      10:00am          BHS Building Committee: “Community Engagement Meeting” at BHS
  • 10/31   (T)       All Day                        Cultural Holiday: Halloween

Grade 5 Pasta Dinner: Attention all 5th grade families and new students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades!  Please remember that the Grade 5 and New Student Pasta Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 19th from 6:00-7:30pm.  Bring your families to dine with us in the Chenery cafeteria where DJ Paul Madden will provide plenty of entertainment and dancing fun.  Help is always needed to make this event a success.  You can still sign up here to volunteer at:  Any last minute questions can be sent to or

BHS Haunted House: Belmont High School will again be offering their annual “Haunted House” on Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 4:30-8:30pm.  There will be a “less scary” guided tour for younger students and a “more scary” option for older students.  Tickets are $5.00 each and all proceeds will be donated to help support hurricane relief.

School Advisory Council:  This year we have three open positions on our School Advisory Council.  In addition to these three parents/guardians, our SAC is comprised of the school principal, two teachers, and up to two community representatives.  All members are elected for two-year terms.  We meet several times throughout the year, no more than monthly, usually after the school.  According to state law, Council members:

(1) assist the principal in adopting educational goals for the school

(2) identify the educational needs of students attending the school

(3) review the school's annual budget

(4) assist in formulating an annual School Improvement Plan

If you are interested in the position, please submit your name to me at If more than three parents/guardians respond we will hold an election.  In that case, respondents will be asked to submit a brief paragraph stating the reasons for their interest serving as a member of the School Advisory Council.  For now, however, a simple “Yes I’m interested in being considered” email will suffice.  The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences: This week we began our conference season.  Conferences are an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s teachers regarding your child’s progress in the class and/or concerns you may have.

To register for a conference please go to:  On the registration form, enter your name, e-mail address, password, phone number, and student name and then click on “Register.”  Once you have selected a team, you will be asked to select an available conference time. After selecting a conference time, you will then be able to confirm your selection and then print or e-mail your schedule.

If you have difficulty registering, please send an email to or call (617) 993-5452, rather than contacting your child’s teacher. Please include your name, your child’s full name, school they attend, and teacher/team.

To change your conference time, go to: and log back into the system using your e-mail address. You can then delete the old conference time and add a new one.

If you would like to meet with your child’s Foreign Language teacher (Ms. Anderson, Ms. Manca, Ms. Zhang, Mr. Ahern, Ms. Sanchez, Ms. Tanner, or Ms. Pruitt) please note that they will NOT be present during the team conference with ELA, SS, Science, and Math teachers since they teach students on all teams, not one single team.   Conferences with Foreign Language teachers can be arranged by signing up using the same system as with team conferences. If you choose to sign up for a separate conference with your child’s Foreign Language Teacher, please make sure you reserve enough time in between to travel from one room to another. It should be no less than 30 minutes between the start of each conferences.

Thank you Amber!  Welcome Trevor!  This week we say goodbye to Amber Tillson, BASEC’s Site Director for the Chenery Middle School.  Amber recently accepted a position in Cambridge in a similar capacity and while we wish her well, it is bittersweet.  We thank Amber for her work at Chenery these past few years and her dedication to ensuring the best possible after school programing to Chenery students. She will be missed!  Replacing Amber will be Trevor Donohue. Many of you know him through his previous work as BASEC's Academic Director.   Trevor will continue the tradition of advocating for families, partnering with us, and doing whatever it takes to ensure kids have the best possible after-school experience.  We look forward to working with Trevor in his new capacity as BASEC Site Director.

“Treat Week” Appreciation: During the month of October Mr. Hartunian, Mr. Lewis, and I have the pleasure of celebrating “National Principals Month.”  Specific to the Chenery, we have enjoyed celebrating “Treat Week” with breakfast, lunch, and snacks dropped off by generous community members each day.  Thank you to the PTO for organizing this week, and thank you to the many students and parents who have dropped of food, kind notes, and have offered us support with your words of encouragement.  Because so many of you did so anonymously, it is not easy for us to thank individuals for their contributions to “Treat Week,” so please know that we have appreciated all of it.  We are happy to work here.  Thank you for taking the time to remind us that you are happy to have us here as well.

Appreciation: While we are on the theme of appreciation, I share with you an email I received from a daily substitute the other day who covered for a Grade 7 science classroom.  While it may have been written to me and may have been talking about one classroom, I am confident that it could have been extended to all of the the teachers, students, and parents of the Chenery Middle School.  He wrote:

Hi Mr. McAllister.  I just love CMS.  ...I'd like to recognize [my] 1st period class.... They were so respectful, helpful, and attentive.  I can not say enough about Belmont students, they are wonderful to work with and every day my bucket is filled, especially at CMS.  Every teacher and staff member I've met has made me feel welcome and part of the team.  You've got a fantastic school, every day I visit CMS, I'm blown away by some teaching technique or experience.  Thank you so much to everyone at CMS for all that you do every day.

In my line of work I am not alway in a position to receive upbeat emails like the one below, but when I do I always take the time to appreciate them.  Furthermore, it is important that I share it with all of you who deserve to read it, as it is a fine testament to all members of the Chenery school community.  Thank you.

Trash Bashers:  We are looking for a few parent volunteers to help the 6th grade “Trash Bashers” monitor the recycling and trash bins in the cafeteria during 6th grade lunch during October 23-27 from 10:30-11:00am.  If you would like to sign-up to help for one or more days please go to:  If your child has not signed-up to become a Trash Basher but would like to become one, please email Mr. Ligon at  Trash Bashers commit to 1 day a week, earn community service, are paired with another student, and get to go to lunch 5 minutes early on their day of duty.

Puerto Rico Fundraiser: CMS Spanish students are taking action to help the people of Puerto Rico after the devastation that Hurricanes Irma and María left behind.  Donation stations led by our Spanish students will be set up in the cafeteria during 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade lunch from Thursday, October 12th through Friday, October 20th.  All donations will go to Unidos Por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico), a fund established for the purpose of assisting the citizens of Puerto Rico after this disaster.  100% of proceeds go to those affected.  As a token of gratitude for each $5 donation, students will receive a small glass coquí frog, a symbol of Puerto Rico and a sign of hope for its future. 

Belmont High School Building Committee: Please join the High School Building Committee for upcoming “Community Engagement Meetings” on:

  • Saturday, October 28th @ 10:00am (Belmont High School)
  • Wednesday, November 15th @ 7:30pm (Town Hall)
  • Tuesday, December 12th @ 7:00pm (Belmont High School)

Agendas for all of these meetings will include:

  • High School Building Project Updates
  • Introduction of the Project Design Team from Perkins+Will
  • District Enrollment Update & Grade Configuration Discussion
  • Updates on Recent Education Visioning Workshops
  • Questions & Comments

To sign up for email updates and to learn more about the Belmont High School Building Project, including project timelines, videos, meeting schedules, presentations, and more, please visit Questions?

Solar Panels Update: At last week’s PTO meeting a question was raised about the status of the solar panel project at Chenery Middle School that was proposed last year.  Here is the latest information I have to share:

  • A presentation was made to the Planning Board in July, but DES withdrew from doing all future solar installs.
  • Although DES is no longer making solar installations in Belmont, funding has been secured for installation by another company
  • A formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project is in play and will be considered in early 2018 with the goal of installation on Chenery during summer 2018.

We will update you as more details become available.

Free/Reduced Lunch: Please remember that families who qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch need to re-apply every year.  Applications do not carry over from year to year.  As of Wednesday, October 18, 2017 the Free/Reduced Meal Benefits for last year’s participants revert to “Full Pay” status if this year’s application has not been received.  If your family is in need of meal assistance this year, the 2017-2018 application is now posted on the school website in multiple languages at:

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