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phone: 617 - 993 - 5400
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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's December 2017 Newsletter

date 12/14/2017

As we approach the winter recess, it is our hope that everyone enjoys the holiday season and has a wonderful week with family and friends. Have a very happy and healthy new year.

“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow." Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” 
― Malala Yousafzai


Belmont High School Building Committee (BHSBC) Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias and I presented the three grade configuration options for the Belmont High School Building Project at the December 12 School Committee Meeting. The presentation looks at the pros and cons for each grade configuration and summarizes the district and visioning work done. To see this presentation, please click here.

The second meeting regarding the grade configuration will be on January 9 in the Belmont High School Auditorium. The School Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. to address several topics on their business agenda, and the presentation, discussion, and open forum on grade configurations will begin at 7:00 p.m. The goal of the forum will be to provide an update on the subject of the three grade configurations and to provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions on this topic. Please know the third meeting with the School Committee on this subject will be on January 23, where the School Committee will be deciding on the grade configuration.

BHSBC Logo In addition to the two meetings outlined above, below are the next four dates for upcoming BHSBC meetings, which have specific presentations on sustainability, traffic, design and grade configurations. These are significant meetings to attend that will lead to important decisions regarding the Belmont High School Building Project. For more information and FAQs, please see the BHSBC website at

Grade Configuration School Committee Meeting Presentation and Discussion: Tuesday, January 9th at 7:00 PM in the Belmont High School Auditorium 

Traffic Presentation and Discussion: Thursday, January 11th at 6:30 PM in the Wellington School Cafeteria

Design Update Presentation: Tuesday, January 16th 7:00 PM Chenery Community Room

Grade Configuration and Preliminary Design Option Selection Presentation/School Committee Vote: Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 PM in the Chenery Community Room

FY19 Budget: We have begun budget discussions for the school year 2018-2019. We have conducted zero-based budget meetings with our Leadership Council as we begin to flesh out our three year plan (FY19 FY20, FY21) by February, with an eye towards staffing needed for our growing enrollment. In the coming month, we will continue to work with the Town, our Finance Committee and our Leadership Council to determine the needs and priorities of the district. We will keep the public up to date on these budget discussions which will be addressed at our School Committee meetings in January and February.


School Calendar The last day of school before our winter recess is Friday, December 22. I want to remind you it is a full day of school on that day. The winter recess begins Saturday, December 23 through January 1, with school back in session on Tuesday, January 2. 


Winter Weather We had our first snowfall of the season on December 9. I hope all enjoyed the wintry weather. This seems like a good time to remind us all where to look or stations to view for any school closings. As always, Belmont Public Schools will put an automated call out to parents and staff.

When faced with inclement weather, we will consider the following options: closing school for the day, calling for a one-hour delay, calling for a two-hour delay, and or having a full school day. These decisions are made with the support of the other town departments as we consider the safety of our staff and students traveling to school.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the various ways you can find out about an unexpected school closing or delay due to weather:

WBZ Radio (1030 AM) and TV (Channel 4)

WRKO Radio (680 AM) and WHDH TV (Channel 7)

WCVB TV (Channel 5) 

The BPS Website


We are fortunate to be in a community who recognize those less fortunate. The generosity demonstrated from our students, families and staff is always heartening to hear about.

  • Snowflakes for Sale BHS Belmontian Club for more than 15 years has made and sold snowflake ornaments to students and staff to benefit Community Servings (CS), a non-profit organization in Jamaica Plain. The snowflakes help fund winter coats, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves for families the Club "adopts" each November. See more on the BHS website.
  • The BHS Student Leadership Team organized a Toy Drive with contributions going to Toys 4 Joys.
  • CMS Volunteers Ready for Delivery The Chenery Food Drive, an annual event for more than 20 years, is the Belmont Food Pantry's biggest drive of the year. More than 4,000 items were collected and donated to the pantry. Please see the BPS website for more.
  • Bookmarks for Nepal A Chenery sixth grade student came up with a way to raise money for the Women's Foundation of Nepal by designing and selling Friendship Bookmarks for $3. Please read more about it here.
  • Butler held a Winter Clothing/Gift Drive for students in need of support.
  • Wellington is holding a Coat Drive, January 2-31.
  • The Winn Brook Gift Drive, held December 4-8, collected toys that will be given out through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for children who may not otherwise receive gifts.
  • Burbank held a coat drive for students in need as well as a Toy Drive benefiting Children's Hospital


  • Candle Lighting Representing the Four Pillars, L-R are Jessica Chen, James Kitch, Wonyoung Jang, Emma Sass Congratulations to the eighty-two Belmont High School students who were inducted into the National Honors Society at a ceremony held on November 29 at Belmont High School. Please see more on the BPS website.
  • Marion Blumenthal Lazan Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan spoke to BHS faculty, students and staff on November 27 about her experiences as a nine year old child in the prison camps during the Holocaust, including the infamous Bergen-Belsen in Germany where Anne Frank died. She wrote a book, Four Perfect Pebbles, chronicling her experiences. A very special visit for Belmont High School, please see the BHS website for more.
  • Butler, Burbank, Wellington and Winn Brook all report having very successful book fairs. Books sold translate into Scholastic Dollars to increase books for the school and classroom libraries.
  • Fourth Grade Artwork with Foil The fall edition of the Butler Art Newsletter is available, courtesy of Art Teacher Meghann Remick. Please see the newsletter here.
  • Thank you to the Wellington PTO for their recent enrichment activities for Wellington students:
    -Kindergarteners had a visit from the Acton Discovery Museum last month. The museum representative visited with each kindergarten class and shared a program about Force and Motion, where the students learned about what makes an object move, questioning controlling the movement, does push or pull strength have an effect. Kindergarten Push and Pull Activity from the Acton Discovery Museum Visit
    -Earlier in November, Wellington third graders had a visit from Patricia Bade, known as the Owl Woman, who is of Penobscot decent. She travels around the state with her collection of Native American artifacts, legends, songs and traditions.
    -Wellington fourth graders visited the Peabody Museum and Harvard Museum of Natural History last month, exploring the Native American, Glass Flowers, and Mineral, Gems, and Meteorite exhibits.


Belmont Public Schools App For those who do not know, the Technology Department created a Belmont Public Schools app for parents, students and community members ease of use when getting information from their mobile devices. To download the app, search for Belmont Public Schools in the App Store or Google Play. App features include:

  • District and school news, allowing the user to select which schools they want to follow
  • Calendar information for schools and district events, including the ability to add events from school calendars to the user’s device calendar
  • School and district websites
  • Contact information for teachers, administrators and other staff
  • One comprehensive news stream including: calendar events, news, and district/PTO/PTA social media postings
  • Superintendent updates with the latest communications from the district
  • Sports scores and team schedules
  • Link to the online lunch payment system and lunch menus
  • Access to the parent and student portals

To download the app, search for Belmont Public Schools in the App Store or Google Play.


We are very thankful to the Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) for awarding educators $58,325 in Cycle 1 of the Learning Excellence Grants. The grant is awarded once in the fall and once in the spring. The FBE grants provide educators and administrators funding for enrichment programs, curriculum, professional development, and technology benefiting Belmont Public School students. We thank the FBE and the community supporters. Please see the FBE website for a full list of grant award and awardees.


Congratulations to all the students who auditioned for the Senior District Festival. Please see this message from Director of Visual and Performing Arts Arto Asadoorian:

This past Saturday (11/18), 132 students from Belmont High School travelled to North Andover High School to audition for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Northeastern Senior District Festival. These students spent weeks and months preparing an audition that required them to perform a piece of solo repertoire and demonstrate high levels of proficiency playing selected scales and sight reading. Auditions are judged by professional musicians, and the highest performing students are selected to perform in the MMEA-NED Band, Chorus, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble.
This year we are very proud to announce that seventy-six students from Belmont High School were accepted in the Senior District Festival. The question I will be asked by many in the community is, “Is this the most students that have ever been accepted??”. The answer to that question is, “I really have no idea!”, since we don’t keep statistics like this on hand. What I can say is that I have been writing these e-mails every year for quite a while, and I don’t ever remember typing a number higher than seventy-seven. 

Along with the students who were accepted, we must also congratulate those who auditioned and were not accepted – some by only the narrowest of margins. There are dozens of students who were one or two points shy of being accepted, which of course tells us that they are well-deserving of a place in the District ensembles. The fact that so many of our students perform so well at these auditions each year is a direct result of their hard work, the support they receive from their parents, the excellence of the teaching faculty who work with them, and to the high value our community places on music education in our schools.

Without further delay, below is the list of students who were accepted to perform at the 2018 MMEA-NED Senior District Festival. Congratulations to these students and their families on this impressive achievement!
Idris Abercrombie -Trombone
Rebecca Anderson -Tuba
Eli Barnes - Chorus
Merrill Barnes - Chorus
Sam Bastille - Chorus
James Boyle - Chorus
Stephen Carvalho - Chorus
Alyssa Chen  -Violin
Jason Chen - Clarinet
Jessica Chen - Viola
Katarina Chen -Viola
Grace Christensen - Chorus
Miriam Cubstead-  Chorus
Eleanor Dash - Trumpet
Sylvian Davidson - Tenor Saxophone
Tori Dignan - Chorus
Emily Duffy - Chorus
Garrett Eagar - Trombone
Joia Findeis - Viola
Mariko Findell - Euphonium
Elizabeth Galli - Chorus
Mary Galstian - Chorus
Christopher Giron - Bassoon
Alicia Grassia - French Horn
Catherine Graves - Chorus
Cameron Gurwell - Euphonium
Sammy Haines - Chorus
Honor Hickman - Jazz Tenor Saxophone
Eva Hill - Chorus
Allen Jang - Chorus
Seiyoung Jang - Trumpet
Wonyoung Jang - Euphonium
Ethan Jin - Jazz Trumpet
Nate Jones - Jazz Trombone
Daniel Joh Kang - Violin
Emily Kim - Violin
Isabelle Kim - Violin
Edward Lee - Chorus
Miro Leeb - Viola
David Leigh - Flute
Meri Lochhead - Chorus
Chris Lynch - Trumpet
Philip Lynch - Trumpet
Raffi Majikian - Chorus
Jackson Mann - Chorus
Natalie Marcus-Bauer - Chorus
Clare Martin - Alto Saxophone
Noah Merfeld - Chorus
Matthew Miller - Clarinet
Sebastian Newell - Chorus
Charlotte Nilsen - String Bass
Christina Noonan - Chorus
Alex Park - Jazz Trumpet
Chloe Park - Trombone
Jessica Peng - Flute
Calvin Perkins - Trumpet
Olivia Pierce - Chorus
Elisabeth Pitts - Chorus
Audrey Quinn - Violin
Connor Quinn - Chorus
Valentine Reynolds - Chorus
Annalise Schlaug - Cello
Becca Schwartz - Chorus
Lila Searls - Alto Saxophone
Walter Shen - Chorus
Ian Svetkey - Chorus
Jason Tang - Clarinet
Will Thomas - Chorus
Shankar Veludandi - Chorus
Allan Wang - Clarinet
Alex Wilk - Viola
Amy Wu - Oboe
Andrew Xu - Bass Clarinet
Alex Yang - Cello
Clark Zhang - Oboe
Henry Zuccarello - Trombone


  • Congratulations to BHS Girls’ Soccer Player senior Carey Allard who is named an Esmark All-American and to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team.
  • The Belmont Boosters Athletes of the Month for October are Sophia Estok, BHS Girls Volleyball Team, and Zack Tseng, BHS Boys Cross Country Team. Zach Tseng BHS Boys Cross Country Team Sophia Estok BHS Girls Volleyball Team
    All Events
    12/18/2017 to 12/23/2017
    Belmont HS & Chenery Middle School
    Monday, December 18
    5:00 PM Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Lincoln Sudbury R.H.S Home
    Tuesday, December 19
    3:30 PM Girls Chenery Middle Basketball Postponed- Watertown MS Away
    4:00 PM Boys Freshman Basketball Wilmington High School Home
    4:00 PM Girls Freshman Basketball Wilmington High School Away
    4:15 PM Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Wilmington High School Home
    4:15 PM Girls Junior Varsity Basketball Wilmington High School Away
    5:00 PM Boys Chenery Middle Basketball Postponed- Watertown MS Away
    5:50 PM Boys Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Holliston High School Home
    6:00 PM Boys Varsity Basketball Wilmington High School Home
    6:00 PM Girls Varsity Basketball Wilmington High School Away
    Wednesday, December 20
    4:00 PM Boys Varsity Swimming North Andover HS Home
    5:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey Wilmington High School Home
    8:00 PM Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Wilmington High School Away
    Thursday, December 21
    3:30 PM Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Stoneham High School Away
    4:00 PM Girls Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Austin Prep Home
    4:00 PM Girls Freshman Basketball Stoneham High School Home
    4:15 PM Girls Junior Varsity Basketball Stoneham High School Home
    5:00 PM Boys Freshman Basketball Stoneham High School Away
    6:00 PM Boys Varsity Basketball Stoneham High School Away
    6:00 PM Girls Varsity Basketball Stoneham High School Home
    Friday, December 22
    4:00 PM Boys Varsity Indoor Track Lexington High School Away
    4:00 PM Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Medford High School Away
    4:00 PM Girls Varsity Indoor Track Lexington High School Away
    5:50 PM Boys Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Burlington High School Home
    Saturday, December 23
    1:00 PM Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Stoneham High School Home
    4:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey Stoneham High School Away


From the Belmont Public Library: We will be offering Fine Forgiveness starting on Friday December 15th and ending on Sunday December 31st, New Years Eve. All overdue fines on BELMONT items will be eligible for forgiveness. Charges for lost or damaged items are not eligible, nor are fines from other libraries. Please bring a non-perishable food item to the Library when you come to have your fines forgiven. All food items will be given to the Belmont Food Pantry to help support those in need. Suggested donations include: coffee, tea & hot chocolate; canned chili with meat and stews; canned beets, peas, mixed vegetables, and mushrooms; mac n cheese & pasta, tuna fish, canned fruit and cereal. We will also gladly accept toiletry products, or gift cards to a local grocery store. Thank you for your generosity. 


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


December 18 to December 22 - Chenery Book Fair - Monday 11am-6pm; Tuesday-Thursday 8am-6pm; Friday 8am-11am

December 20 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Library - BHS-PTO Meeting

December 23 - January 2 - Winter Break

January 5 - Wellington Skate Night

January 8 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Grade 5 Band and Orchestra Concert

January 9 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Auditorium - School Committee Meeting and BHSBC Grade Configuration Presentation and Discussion

January 11 - 6:30 p.m. - Wellington Cafeteria - BHSBC Traffic Presentation and Discussion

January 12 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - Chenery - Grades 7 and 8 Dance

January 10, 12, 13 -  Off-Site - Senior District Festival

CMS Volunteers Sorting Items  Snowflakes for Sale  Bookmarks for Nepal  Candle Lighting Representing the Four Pillars, L-R are Jessica Chen, James Kitch, Wonyoung Jang, Emma Sass  Marion Blumenthal Lazan  BHS Audience of Students, Faculty and Staff  Blumenthal Lazan Book  Kelly Mastalong, Marion Blumenthal Lazan, Alice Melnikoff, Lisa Hurtubise, Dan Richards  Boxed Items  Boxed Items  CMS Students at Food Drive  CMS Students at Food Drive  CMS Volunteers Ready for Delivery  Fourth Grade Artwork with Foil  Owl woman Third Grade Visit  Kindergarten Push and Pull Activity from the Acton Discovery Museum Visit  Fourth Grade Trip to Harvard Museum of Natural History  Sophia Estok BHS Girls Volleyball Team  Zach Tseng BHS Boys Cross Country Team 



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Contact Us

  • Administration: 617-993-5400
  • High School: 617-993-5900 
  • Chenery Middle School: 617-993-5800 
  • Butler School: 617-993-5550 
  • Burbank School: 617-993-5500 
  • Wellington School: 617-993-5600 
  • Winn Brook School: 617-993-5700
  • BPS Webmaster: send email


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