ADMISSION TO THE BELMONT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Each of the four elementary schools in Belmont serves a geographical area. Thus, a youngster's elementary school is determined by his/her residence location. The policy of the Belmont School Committee permits a student to attend a school out of his district of residence, only with the approval of the Superintendent. Such requests must be presented to the Superintendent in writing. Students residing in the Town of Belmont are eligible to attend the Belmont Public Schools when they are age appropriate.
For more information read Wellington Family Handbook.
Registration Forms are available on the BPS site here
Belmont offers a full-day, fee based kindergarten program; parents may opt for a cost-free morning program of three hours and fifteen minutes. A child, who is five years old on or before September 1, is eligible for Kindergarten in September of that year. The Belmont Public Schools’ early childhood programs encompass a broad range of developmentally-appropriate learning activities. Parents are encouraged to enroll their children in kindergarten when they are age appropriate. In the spring, a packet of information is sent to all parents known to have eligible children. Registration takes place in early spring at each elementary school. Registration materials include information on the fee guidelines. The registration process includes a parent conference with the school nurse and guidance counselor. A birth certificate or other proof of date of birth is required at the time of kindergarten registration.
Before entering kindergarten a recent physical examination and complete immunization records (including evidence of lead screening) are required.
Health Care Guidelines
Each School has a Health Clinic operated by a registered nurse whose time may be shared with other schools should the need arise. When a student becomes ill at school, a parent or guardian will be notified and expected to come for the student as soon as possible. Each parent or guardian is asked to provide the school with the names of two (2) alternate persons who may be contacted in the event that a parent cannot be reached. Persons listed must be local and have access to transportation. Please advise the school office when any name or number changes.
Complete information with regard to required immunizations and physical examinations, medication administration during the school day and when a child should be kept home due to illness, etc. can be found on the BPS website or found in the Belmont Public Schools Health and Nursing Department on the BPS website www.belmont.k12.ma.us/health/.
What is Kindergarten Screening?
Kindergarten Screening is a brief check of all Kindergarten children in the areas of:
- personal and social development
- speech and language skills
- eye/hand coordination
- small and large muscle control
- hearing and vision
Most children develop in these areas at a rate which is within the usual range for their age.
Why screen Kindergarten children?
Public Schools are required by Chapter 766 (Special Education Law) to conduct an annual screening of all Kindergarten youngsters. The screening is free to all town residents. Screening helps identify young children who may require further evaluation to determine the need for specialized services.
Who is involved in Kindergarten Screening?
Kindergarten children are screened by certified school personnel who are trained in the screening process. The personnel include:
- Kindergarten teachers
- Resource teachers
- Speech and language pathologists
- School nurses
Guidance Counselors, School Psychologists and School Nurses conduct parent interviews.
How are Parents involved?
Parental understanding and awareness of their child is important. Parents will complete a questionnaire about their child’s developmental and medical history and review it with a Guidance Counselor or School Psychologist and a School Nurse. Any questions or concerns they may have about their child should be reviewed at the interviews.
When does Kindergarten Screening take place?
Children are screened during the fall of their Kindergarten year during the regular school day. Parent interviews are conducted in the spring prior to their child’s Kindergarten entry. Interviews are by appointment at the same time as Kindergarten registration is conducted at the local elementary schools.
What happens after the Screening?
All parents are notified in writing of the results of the screening. In the vast majority of cases, they will receive the reassurance that their child is developing normally.
When the results indicate a reasonable likelihood that a child has a need for further evaluation, the school staff will contact the parents to discuss the results of the screening. Should the parents and school staff agree that more in-depth evaluation take place, then a referral for a special needs evaluation under Chapter 766 will be made. If a special need is determined by the evaluation, school staff will work with parents to develop an appropriate educational plan for the child.
Parents of children entering the Belmont Public Schools from another school system need to provide:
- documentation of a current physical examination (within the past year),
- documentation of immunizations
- a record of achievement from their last school.
This registration may be accomplished during regular school hours at the elementary school in the district in which the child is residing. Parents of children who are relocating to another school system should bring the name, address and phone number of the new school to the office of the current school, so that student records can be forwarded.
STUDENTS' CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENTS
For returning students in grades 1-4, notifications of classroom assignment are usually mailed to parents in mid July. Please alert the school office if your child will not be returning in the fall. Assignments of kindergartners and other students new to the school are determined in mid August, and then mailed to parents/guardians.
Shortly after the April recess, begins the process of developing classes for the next school year. Classroom teachers and specialists meet by grade level to make initial groupings, taking into account all that they know about students. Recommended placements are reviewed by all professional staff, including specialists, the guidance counselor, school psychologist, and the principal. The primary goal is to form viable, balanced class groupings.
If you have information pertinent to placement that you do not think your child’s teacher has, please provide that information to me in writing no later than the end of the school day on the Friday before the April recess. Please note that unless specifically requested otherwise, letters will be shared with classroom teachers and other Wellington staff. If providing information for more than one child in a family, please send a separate note for each child so that the grade level teams will have information regarding those children for whom they are making decisions. Specific requests are not able to accommodated – either for children to be with other specific children, or for specific teachers.
It is not expected or necessary for every parent to submit a letter. Full consideration is given to each child’s placement, whether or not a letter is received. Although the placement teams will give careful consideration to the information that you provide, please understand that a variety of factors are considered as the best situation is determined for every individual student and the entire grade level. Your understanding is appreciated with regard to the complexity of this process and your confidence in our ability to make decisions fairly, sensitively, and with integrity.
For any additional questions concerning placement, please feel free to contact the principal.