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School News

School Newsletter - 1/31 - 2/13

Jan 31

Wednesday, January 31, 2018  RssIcon


Wednesday, January 31-Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1/31     (W)      2:30-3:30pm    School Advisory Council Meeting (Main Office Conference Room)

2/1       (Th)     6:00-8:00pm    CMS Student Council: Lower School Movie Night (Chenery Gym)

2/1       (Th)     6:30-8:00pm    Chenery PTO Meeting in Large Community Room

2/6       (T)       TBD                 Quarter 2 Grades Released

2/7       (W)      All Day                        CMS Student Council: Orange Shirt Day for Anti-Bullying

2/8       (Th)     7:00-8:00pm    CMS Fine & Performing Arts: Honors Concert

2/9       (F)        All Day                        CMS Student Council: Dress Up/Dress Down & College Spirit Day

2/10     (Sa)      8:00-10:00am  CMS Fine & Performing Arts: Saturday Morning Music School

2/14     (W)      All Day                        Religious Holiday: Beginning of Lent / Ash Wednesday (Christian)

2/14     (W)      All Day                        Religious Holiday: Maha Shivaratri (Hinduism)

A Message from the Chenery PTO: Please join us for our Chenery PTO Meeting on Thursday, February 1 @ 6:30pm.  Please note the earlier start time, intended to allow the end of the meeting to coincide with the end of the Student Council-sponsored Lower School Movie Night, which ends at 8:00pm.  Our special guest, Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias, will join us to speak about the work underway district-wide to support all students' academic, social, and emotional learning.  She will discuss the ongoing study of the achievement gap and how it intertwines with social and emotional learning.  Additionally we will update on the exciting developments with the Belmont High School Building Committee, hear the latest on Enrichment Programming at Chenery, touch on the budget, and the success of the annual appeal.  Please join us!

Configuration News: On Tuesday, January 23rd, after more than two years of work by the Belmont High School Building Committee (BHSBC), the School Committee, the School Administration, and Belmont’s Selectmen, significant decisions were made regarding the Belmont High School Building Project:

  • The Belmont School Committee voted unanimously to approve a 7-12 grade configuration model for the Project.  As a result, Chenery will eventually house grade 4-6 students.
  • The Belmont High School Building Committee voted unanimously to go forward with the design scheme of a major addition with a minor renovation for the Project, thereby maintaining, with upgrades, the existing fieldhouse and pool.

The decision to go forward with a7-12 school configuration and the major addition with minor renovation design scheme was based on extensive research and information gathering.  Supporting documentation, including reports and presentation materials are all available at:  There are still many steps to go in the Belmont High School Building Project process. The BHSBC now enters the “Schematic Design” phase of the Project, during which work will be done with the District and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to develop a comprehensive schematic design for the building.

Grade 8 Parent Night: Attention Grade 8 Parents of the class of 2022: This year’s 8th Grade Parent Night will be held at Belmont High School on Wednesday, 2/7/2018 @ 6:00pm at Belmont High School.  Please join administrators and directors to learn about the 9th grade curriculum and Belmont High School.  The event will last from 6:00-8:15pm, starting out in the BHS Auditorium.  We will also have a representative from Minuteman Technical High School in attendance to answer any questions you may have about their program.  If you have any questions please contact Sherri Turner ( at Belmont High School.

Chenery Student Council: The Lower School movie is this Thursday, February 1 @ 6:00 to 8:00pm in the CMS Large Gym.  This year’s movie is “Despicable Me 3.”  The movie is FREE, and a snack and a drink will be provided to each student.  Feel free to bring a blanket and a pillow.  Come hang out with your friends and enjoy a good movie!

Better Late Than Never: A belated congratulations go out to Chenery’s own FIRST Lego League team, The Marine Mechanics, who competed in the Eastern MA Championships on Saturday, December 16 at Newton North High School.  They were one of five teams of elementary and middle school students from Belmont who competed.  Each Belmont team had between 3-6 students between the ages of 9-14.  The majority of students attend Chenery Middle School.

The FLL program is an international youth robotics competition started by the entrepreneur Dean Kamen, and is part of the same organization that runs the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), which students at Belmont High School started to compete at starting last year.  More info about the program can be found at:

 The Marine Mechanics brought home the 3rd place Champion's Award!  Congratulations and thanks also go out to Chenery parents Glenn Wong and Sterling Crockett, who helped coach the boys.

PlusPortals: There have been some recent inconsistencies with the PlusPortal system, particularly in the area of homework/assignment posting. As we consistently do in the classroom, please encourage your child to get in the habit of writing homework and assignments in their agenda on a daily basis.

A Message From Upper School Assistant Principal Torrance Lewis: Recently we have seen an unfortunate uptick in misbehavior with some Grade 8 students.  Our main areas of concern are:

  • Disrespecting peers.
  •  Disrespecting adults.
  • Disregarding classroom, hallway, and cafeteria expectations.
  • Choosing to not follow directions.

We want all Grade 8 Parents/Guardians to know that we will be addressing these concerns with students during Extended Homeroom this week.  Additionally, we ask you to check in with your own child at home.  Trust, cooperation, and following directions are essential elements for an enriching learning environment -- particularly when we travel with over 335 students and teachers to Washington, D.C. -- so we appreciate your help in sending these same messages on our behalf at home.   Thank you for your understanding and support. Please reach out to us if you have further questions.

“Talk of the Town”: Last year the Town-appointed Belmont Vision 21 Implementation Committee introduced a new community event: Meet Belmont’s “Talk of the Town.” This event is modeled on the TED Talk format, and features Belmont residents presenting ideas based on their experiences and passions. More than 400 people registered for the inaugural “Talk.”  For 2018, the second year, the producers approached Belmont High School and Chenery and invited each of us to nominate a student speaker who will be part of the program. We are very proud that Mariam Soliman, a Grade 8 Chenery student, will present among a very distinguished roster of speakers:

  • Graham Allison, American Political Scientist and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Debra Cash, Executive Director, Boston Dance Alliance
  • Barbara Joseph, 12th grade student, Belmont High School
  • Mariam Soliman, 8th grade student, Chenery Middle School
  • Preston Williams, Houghton Professor of Theology and Contemporary Change Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School

“Talk” is co-sponsored by the Belmont Public Schools. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 7:00-9:00pm in the Chenery Middle School Auditorium.  Admission is free with registration at  All are invited and encouraged to come support our speakers.

Thank you Chenery PTO: Many thanks go out to the Chenery PTO and their army of volunteers for their support of CMS teachers during “Treat Week.”  All week we were rewarded with snacks, desserts (and even some healthy fruit) and all of it was well-appreciated.  Thank you for your generosity!

Community Service at Chenery: We are currently reviewing our community service program to ensure that we are better able to integrate service learning into our curriculum and examining the structures we need to support all students in authentic service learning experiences.  To that end, we are not asking students to record and document community services hours at Chenery.  We will continue to offer students the opportunity to participate in the President’s Volunteer Service Award (50 hours) and Herbert P. Baker Community Service Award (25 hours) programs through the Community Service Club.  Please reach out to Mr. Williams, grade 5 math/science teacher and Community Service Club Advisor, if your child is interested in learning more about community service opportunities at Chenery.

Social Studies teachers regularly advertise the opportunity for students to be recognized for their community service through the President’s Volunteer Service Award (grades 6-8), or the Herbert P. Baker Community Service Achievement Award (grade 6 only).

  • President’s Volunteer Service Awards:  Any student in grades 6, 7, or 8 may earn this national award by completing at least 50 hours a year of verified community service.  The Bronze Award is presented to students who have met the 50- hour minimum; Silver is given to students who perform 75-99 hours; Gold is reserved for those who perform at least 100 hours of service. All service which is performed between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018 may be applied toward this award.
  • Herbert P. Baker Community Service Achievement Award:  This Chenery service award is for any 6th grade student who completed 25-49 hours of verified community service between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018.

All forms are collected from students May 3, 2018.  To qualify, students complete the community service, record it on a paper form, turn the paper form in to their social studies teacher, and submit their final hours total on an electronic form (available at:

The FBE’s Online Camp Auction is open for bidding!  From preschool programs to overnight camps, the FBE Online Camp Auction has something for every child. There are local offerings for a variety of age ranges and overnight options perfect for those children who wish to venture out of the area for camp.  Please visit the FBE’s Online Camp Auction website for detailed descriptions of each camp offering including dates and restrictions and start bidding! The FBE Online Camp Auction will close on Monday, February 5th at 8pm.  Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to solidify your child’s summer plans and thank you for your support of the FBE!  Questions:

Grade 5 Art Contest: Does your child love art and want a challenge?  If so, the Belmont Police Department is offering a fun contest for all interested Grade 5 students.  The 2018 “National Missing Children’s Day” Poster Contest is co-sponsored by the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Massachusetts Child Amber Alert program.  State winners will receive a framed copy of their artwork, a certificate of appreciation, their poster submitted to the National level for judging, and Boston Bruin Street Hockey Equipment for their school.  Top 30 schools that enter win Boston Bruin Street Hockey Equipment worth $1000.  1st & 2nd place winners will receive a celebration at their school with the

Boston Bruins BFit Team and a street hockey game in their school gymnasium with the Massachusetts State Police!  Each poster must be accompanied by a completed application and must be mailed by February 9th, 2018 @ 5:00pm.  For contest rules and application please contact Sgt. Nicole Morrell at or 508-820-2658.

BASEC Parent Lecture Series: Children get so much more when things are going wrong. This is the foundational error in conventional ways of parenting and school discipline. The Nurtured Heart Approach will bring you to understand how your best efforts may actually fuel the fire of challenging behavior – and how to make simple shifts that will change everything.  The Nurtured Heart Approach® is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in The 3 Stands™ for helping children (and adults) build their Inner Wealth® and use their intensity in successful ways. It has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success.  BASEC is bringing a Nurtured Heart Approach trainer, Sam Healy to Burbank next month for a parent workshop on positive behavior management on Tuesday, February 6th in the Burbank Elementary Cafeteria from 6:30 - 8:00pm.  Please contact Annie Gladfelter at if you have any questions or concerns.

Parking Lot Reminder: If you are bringing your child to school by car, please remember that student drop-off by car is in the front of the school on Washington Street.  Please do not drop your child off in the back drive-way, the back parking lot, or along Oakley Street.  The back driveway is for buses  and the back parking lot is reserved for Chenery teachers. Please do not park in an available space to drop off your child in the morning time. This prevents teachers from finding adequate, safe parking and forces our faculty to often park unnecessarily on the neighborhood streets.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Planned and Extended Absences: If your child will have a planned or extended absence, please remember to inform the Upper School or Lower School Secretary, in addition to your child’s teachers.

If I can be of any assistance to you or your children please contact me at 617-993-5800.  My office is always open to you.


Michael E. McAllister, Principal

News Archive

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