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Superintendent's November 3, 2017 Newsletter

date 11/3/2017

There are many events to attend this month, from performances, athletic games, lectures, to the FBE Spelling Bee. Please take a look at the calendar as well as all the news happening in the district. Please also remember we turn the clocks back one hour this Sunday, November 5, when Daylight Savings Time ends.

“Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference.” 

― Claire Fagin

SCHOOL CALENDAR REGARDING VETERAN'S DAY

As you know, Veteran’s Day is November 11 and it falls on a Saturday this year. Per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state guidelines, when a holiday falls on a Saturday it is observed on that Saturday. Therefore, Belmont Public Schools will hold school on Friday, November 10, as well as Veteran’s Day exercises that morning at the Chenery, Burbank and Wellington Schools.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

  • Belmont Police Officer Horan and the Spelling Bee Mascot Belmont High School Building Project:  As you know, the Belmont High School Building Committee (BHSBC) has held a number of community meetings to inform the Belmont community about the building project.  These meetings provide updates and give the opportunity to gather audience input during the question and comment period. If you would like to see the presentation, please click here.

    It is the intent of the school department that all community members understand the different grade configurations being offered through the MSBA building project. As you know, and in addition to the current Belmont High School 9-12 grade configuration, we have also discussed a school project that has a grade configuration of 7-12 or 8-12.  These are different models than we currently have in Belmont, and the implementation of any of these options also may require alternative grade configurations of our K-6 population.

    The potential for a K-12 realignment of grades is an issue that I would like all parents to think about as we prepare to research and bring our thoughts to the community.  How we organize the remaining components of our district after the high school building project is determined will be an important conversation to consider.  The Belmont Public Schools is partnering with the architectural firm Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA) to brainstorm ideas on any and all K-8 potential challenges we face after the BHSBC high school decision is made.

    The next and fifth community meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Belmont High School.  I hope you can attend, as your input is critical to the Committee as they continue to gather input. For more information on the project, where to sign up for email updates, and the calendar page of events, please visit the Committee website at belmonthighschoolproject.org. In addition, the BHSBC has a Community Input Survey available on their website.  Please take a moment to share your thoughts with the Committee by filling out this survey so your valuable feedback can be heard.

  • School Committee Meeting in Boston: The Belmont School Committee held its October 24 meeting at the Shelburne Community Center in Roxbury as it does annually to support the communication with our METCO families. The meeting was attended by over 40 Belmont-METCO parents, and they were provided an update from school administrators on the new Belmont High School building and the 2017-2018 Strategic Goals. We would like to thank Belmont parent and resident Laura Hill from the Boston-Belmont Friends Group, which works towards connecting the families of our students that reside in Boston and Belmont families. We are thankful for her work and that we are able to get the families together throughout the year.

  • Elementary Modular Vote: The district is proposing an article to support the funding for the Burbank modular classrooms at the November 13 Special Town Meeting. As you may be aware a presentation was given to the Burbank community in early September and also to the full School Committee on September 26. Most recently, I have discussed and presented on this topic to the Warrant Committee for their review as well. The school department respectfully submits this article for funding to support the short term space challenges that currently exist across our elementary schools. If you would like to view the presentation, please click here. It is important to note the presentation we provide here will be updated with the most recent financial information for the Special Town Meeting. I would personally like to thank Burbank Principal Dr. Tricia Clifford, the Burbank PTA, and the parents and staff of the school for their feedback on and support of this project.

  • Professional Status for Teachers: Nineteen Belmont Public School educators were recognized at a reception held before the School Committee meeting on October 10 for achieving Professional Status. These educators achieve this status after successfully completing three years of employment with Belmont Public Schools. Please see the BPS website for more information and the names of these educators.

TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Soon you will be receiving the MCAS results for your child via U.S. mail. As you may have read, the revised test that elementary and middle school students took last spring has new achievement levels, listed as Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations or Not Meeting Expectations. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has stated the new test is more rigorous than it has been in the past, and the standards for achievement levels are also higher than in the past, which may result in a change from a student's achievement level. High School students did not take the new MCAS, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) says it will be introduced in spring 2019. There will be a presentation by Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias at the November 14 School Committee meeting to unpack this new test information.

SCHOOL NEWS

  • Belmont High School Grade 10 history students last spring conducted a series of interviews with Belmont veterans for a new documentary film entitled, "Belmont Veterans Remember." The film, a collaboration between the Belmont Veterans Memorial Committee, Belmont High School, and Belmont Media Center, has the premiere screening on November 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Town Hall Auditorium. This project was an invaluable experience for our students to learn about this history and honor our local veterans. Please see the BPS website for more information.

  • BHS Principal Dan Richards and Rachel Laing Congratulations to Belmont High School senior Rachel Laing, who is among the 491 semi-finalists, selected from 1,860 students across the United States, named in this year's Siemens Foundation Competition.  Students submitted individual and team research projects in this math, science and technology competition for high school students. Please see more information on the BHS website and on the Siemens Foundation website.

  • Subaru donation to BHS Cityside Subaru and Subaru of American on October 26 gave over 150 science books and resource materials for students and faculty during the national Subaru Loves Learning program in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). See the BHS website for more information.

  • There's a new Belmont High School online store. Your purchase gives a percentage back to Belmont High School to support student programs. Please go to this link to go to the online store.

  • CMS Students-Unity Day Unity Day at Chenery was on October 25, where the students and staff wore orange to stand together against bullying and together for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center asks schools across the country to participate in the day as part of a national Bully Prevention Month. This day of unity by Chenery students and staff sends a strong and positive message.

  • The Chenery Community Service Club, led by Chenery Math and Science Teacher Michael Williams, had a school appreciation day on October 19, where after school they painted new four-square courts and cleaned up around the school. Thanks to these students for their service.

  • Winn Brook Nurse Jeanine Shaughnessy Elementary Schools participated in P.A.C.K. Week from October 16-20. (Pack Assorted Colors for Kids) October, a five-day nutritional program aimed at having children pack a wider variety of foods for lunch. BPS Food Services also got in the spirit with items included in the lunch menu (Brown day was roasted local Butternut squash). Children could wear the color of the day if they wish, and Winn Brook School Nurse Jeanine Shaughnessy got into the spirit by the cafeteria in fruit and vegetable costumes.

  • The Butler School Student Leader Corps (BSLC), in its second year, is made up of rotating groups of fourth grade students interested in learning about leadership and taking on projects to improve their school. The students apply with parent permission and a staff member recommendation, and then form a group that plans a project. Principal Betancourt is happy to report 42 fourth graders applied, and each group will be made up of nine fourth graders who will meet with Principal Betancourt once a week. The BSLC is great opportunity for these students to learn cooperation, leadership, and volunteerism.

  • Butler held Vocabulary Day on October 23, where children dressed up in a way to express a vocabulary world. Each grade had a parade through the school, led by fourth graders--a great way to share the love of vocabulary.

  • Wellington Fine Dining Day with parent Mike Reavey Wellington hosted Fine Dining Day in the cafeteria on October 27. This is the second year of Fine Dining Day where students a few times a year eat their lunch on tablecloths complete with flowers and live music. Students get the opportunity to display their fine dining manners and have a lot of fun.

  • Winn Brook Hurricane Relief Hands Winn Brook students made decorated hands to sell for $1 each as a donation for people affected by recent hurricanes. People who purchased a "hand" had their names added on their purchase. The hands are displayed in the first floor hallway.

SAVE THE DATE

  • BPS/BASEC Parent Lecture Series presents "Managing Anxiety at School and Home: Strategies to Interrupt the Worry Cycle". at the BHS Auditorium on November 15 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Lynn Lyons, LICSW and psychotherapist specializes in the treatment of anxious children and their parents, will talk about concrete strategies educators and parents can use to handle anxiety at home and in the classroom.

  • November 4 is the FBE Spelling Bee from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Chenery School. Please go to their website for more information.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

  • BHS Fall Play BHS Performing Arts Company Fall Play is Peter and the Starcatcher, a Broadway hit in 2012, the show is a take on the story of how an orphan boy because Peter Pan. Performances are November 2, 3 and 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the BHS Auditorium. Please go to bhs-pac.org for tickets and more information.

ATHLETICS

  • George Fitzgerald-Football, Carey Allard-Girl's Soccer Belmont Booster Athletes of the Month for September are Carey Allard, Girls' Soccer, and George Fitzgerald, Football; congratulations to these student athletes.

  • Congratulations to Girl's Rugby players Grace Christensen, Amanda Hanley, and recent BHS graduate Molly Goldberg, who are selected to receive the 2017 MIAA Sportsmanship Moment of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the 24th Annual MIAA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium on November 14.

  • Belmont High Winter Sports Sign Ups will take place on Monday,  November 6th @ 2:30 p.m. in the following locations:

    Girls’ Basketball - Room 221B

    Girls’ Ice Hockey - Room 221A

    Boys’ Ice Hockey - MOD 2

    Girls’ & Boys’ Indoor Track - Wenner Field House

    Winter Cheer - BHS Upper Gym

    Boys Swim - BHS Cafe

    Alpine Ski - MOD 3

    Wrestling - MOD 5

  • Boys’ Basketball - Room 113

  • Fall Athletic Awards Night is held on November 13 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.10/30/2017 to 11/4/2017

  • MIAA Div. 1 Tournament Play:
    November 3 the BHS Girls Volleyball Team advances in the MIAA Div. 1 Tournament and play at Cambridge Rindge and Latin in the first round of MIAA Div. 1 Central/East Tournament at 7:00 p.m.; anticipated admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and Senior Citizens.
    November 4 the BHS Field Hockey Team play at Central Catholic High school in Lawrence in the Quarter final round of MIAA Div. 1 North Tournament at 7:00 p.m.

  • MIAA Div. 2 Tournament Play:
    November 3 the BHS Boys Soccer Team host Winchester High School in the first round of  MIAA Div. 2 North Tournament at 6:00 p.m. at Harris Field. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and Senior Citizens.
    November 4 the BHS Girls Soccer Team host Woburn High School at Harris Field in the Quarter Final round of MIAA Div. 2 North Tournament at 5:00 p.m.; Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and Senior Citizens.

  • MSSAA Regional:
    November 12 the BHS Cheerleading Team travels to Lowell High School to compete in the MSSAA North Regional Tournament, Time TBD.  

  • Friday, November 03

    TBA Varsity Football 

    Saturday, November 04

    10:00 AM Boys Junior Varsity Football Stoneham High School Home

CALENDAR

Below are some of the numerous events going on in November. Please check school websites and communications for more events and any additional information or changes in dates, times and venues.

DATE/TIME - PLACE/EVENT

November 2, 3 and 4 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - BHS Fall Play "Peter and the Starcatcher"

November 4 - 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Chenery School - FBE Spelling Bee

November 5 - Daylight Savings Time Ends

November 5 - 4:00 p.m. - Belmont Town Hall Auditorium - Premiere Screening of Film, Belmont Veterans Remember

November 6 - 8:45 a.m. - Wellington PTO Meeting

November 6 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Little Theater - "Understanding and Preparing for College Admissions for the High School Student-Athlete"

November 8 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - Sing-a-Rama

November 10 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Cafeteria - BHS PTSO Dance

November 11 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - BHS Cafeteria - BHS Ski Team's Annual Ski and Sports Sale of used ski and sports equipment

November 9-13 - Wellington PTO Book Fair Previews

November 13 - 6:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - Fall Athletic Awards Night

November 14 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

November 14-16 - Wellington PTO Book Fair

November 15 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - BPS/BASEC Parent Lecture Series presents "Managing Anxiety at School and Home: Strategies to Interrupt the Worry Cycle"

November 16 - Burbank Library Night

November 18 - Off Site - BHS Senior District Auditions

November 20 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - 6, 7, 8 Grade Orchestra Concert

November 22 - All Schools Early Release

November 22 - BHS Pep Rally

November 23-24 - Thanksgiving Holiday - All Schools Closed

November 29 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Winn Brook Game Night

November 30 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Honors Concert

 


 


Wellington Fine Dining Day with parent Mike Reavey  BHSBC Logo  BHS Principal Dan Richards and Rachel Laing  Subaru donation to BHS  CMS Principal Michael McAllister  CMS Staff-Unity Day  CMS Students and Staff-Unity Day  Orange for CMS Unity Day  CMS Students-Unity Day  Chenery Repainted Four-Square  CMS Asst. Principal Torrence Lewis, CMS English Teacher Jill MacKinnon  Winn Brook Nurse Jeanine Shaughnessy  Winn Brook Hurricane Relief Hands  Butler Vocabulary Day  Student Leader Corps Voting on Term Agreements  George Fitzgerald-Football, Carey Allard-Girl's Soccer  BHS Fall Play 



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