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.
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 in the Belmont Public Schools Elementary Resource Guide for Parents 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.
Students' classroom assignments
For returning students in grades 1-4, notification of classroom assignment is mailed to parents in July/August. The process used to determine class assignments is a fairly complex and time-consuming one that usually begins among staff in early May. The goal is to create heterogeneous class groupings that take into account class size, balance of girls/boys, individual students' needs, abilities, learning styles, and peer relationships. Teachers from the sending grade level meet amongst themselves as well as with principal. Specialists are consulted as the process evolves. Parents/guardians are given the opportunity to provide information regarding their child's placement. This must be done in writing and addressed to the building principal during a specified time period. This should not include requests for a specific teacher and the information provided will not necessarily determine class assignment. The principal, in collaboration with the teaching staff, makes final classroom assignment decisions.
Parents of kindergarteners and students new to the Winn Brook School receive their child's class assignment during the month of August.