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Superintendent's April 2018 Newsletter

date 4/10/2018

It looks like spring has finally arrived, and we can all look forward to warming temperatures and snow tires back in storage. With April break just around the corner, I hope you all have a wonderful Patriot's Day holiday and enjoy your time off.

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  • School Committee Election: We welcome our new School Committee member, Tara Donner, who was elected on April 3. We look forward to working with Tara, who will be formally introduced at the April 10 School Committee meeting. We also congratulate Susan Burgess-Cox for her election win as a returning School Committee member as well as Lisa Fiore, who has been elected to a one year term replacing Murat Bicer. As you may be aware, Tom Caputo has stepped down from the School Committee and is now a member of the Board of Selectmen as a result of the April 3 election. The remainder of Tom’s term, ending April 2019, will be filled by an appointee chosen by the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen. Anyone interested in filling this vacancy can submit a letter of interest to Cathy Grant in the Superintendent’s office by May 3 at 4:00 p.m. via email to or U.S. mail to Cathy Grant c/o Belmont Public Schools at 644 Pleasant Street. The two Boards will meet jointly on May 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board of Selectmen’s meeting room in the Town Hall to interview applicants and to vote to appoint the new member of the School Committee. We thank both Murat and Tom for their work as members of the School Committee, and wish them well in their next endeavors.
  • Official Last Day of School for 2017-2018: As we worked our way through this past snowy March, we would like parents, guardians, and staff to know the official last day of school for 2017-2018 is Wednesday, June 20. The last day of school is a half day for students, and a full day for staff.  
  • Belmont High School Principal Search: The school administration has decided not to move forward with the finalist candidate as the next Principal of BHS. This decision comes after a rigorous search process, with a Screening Committee made up of a principal, curriculum director, two BHS teachers, and a representative from the BHS Parent-Teacher Organization (BHSPTSO). This committee then screened and interviewed applicants who are met in a Q&A format by parents/guardians, staff, and students. We will appoint an interim principal for the 2018-2019 school year by June 1 to allow for a smooth transition. We will also conduct a full search for a new principal beginning early in the 2018-2019 school year. I want to thank the Screening Committee and Director of Human Resources Mary Pederson for all the work accomplished on these searches.
  • Wellington Principal Search: I am happy to announce that Allison Franke has accepted the position of Principal of the Wellington Elementary School. She will begin working in Belmont on July 1. Ms. Franke is currently an Assistant Principal in the Somerville Public Schools. Prior to this, she was a literacy specialist in the Newton Public Schools and in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Office of Reading and Language Arts. Ms. Franke began her career as an educator in the Boston and Los Angeles Public School Districts. She was among three finalists screened and interviewed by the Screening Committee and school administration, and was introduced to staff and parents and guardians on March 21. I want to thank the Screening Committee, the parents and guardians who met with Ms. Franke, and Director of Human Resources Mary Pederson. We welcome her leadership at Wellington and look forward to working with her. In addition, Interim Principal Annemarie Stewart will return to her role as Assistant Principal at Wellington. We thank Principal Stewart's leadership in her role as interim principal during this school year.
  • School Safety: Principal Dan Richards and I met with high school parents concerned about the safety and security at BHS. We want to assure all parents that the school administration continues to make this a priority and have taken steps to improve the monitoring of entrances and the traffic flow of students into the building.  The challenge of providing safety at the high school is a delicate balance between the open campus model that has been in place for many years and the clear need for an updated approach that provides more safety measures for our students and staff. At Chenery Middle School, Principal Michael McAllister has also engaged in a training schedule with Belmont Police and his staff that will result in drills with students by the end of the year. As recently as April 4, elementary principals held a meeting with School Resource Officer Melissa O’Connor regarding safety procedures. In addition, there will be updated training on Lock Down procedures and school safety at all the Belmont Public Schools this spring. This is and always has been ongoing work between our schools staff and the Belmont Police Department. We appreciate our partnership with them and their continued support to our schools.
  • After School Care: At the March 26 School Committee meeting a presentation was provided on after school care at our schools. Please go here for that presentation. There was productive input from parents who attended this meeting, and their comments were appreciated and duly noted. The policy subcommittee continues to meet on this issue as we look to increase capacity for our after care providers at our elementary schools for the 2018-2019 to better serve the needs of our parents and guardians.
  • Later Start Time:  Soon staff, parents/guardians, and students will be receiving a survey to provide feedback on the topic of a later start time at the high school. The survey was requested by the Policy Subcommittee of the School Committee, and is compiled by BHS educators. The survey will be utilized to inform the district on the next step regarding this issue. We appreciate in advance our community’s responses. 
  • Busing Changes 2018-2019: Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, there will be centralized bus stops in an effort to improve and provide efficiencies in our bus routes. By providing strategic and centralized bus stops, we feel we can better serve our children and the community. Please see the presentation to the School Committee at the March 27 meeting here. For more information, please go to the registration page on the BPS website under the bus section here.
  • BHSBC: The Belmont High School Building Committee (BHSBC) held meetings with directors, principals and our 7-12 Steering Committees of educators. These meetings will continue through June and will address topics that range from general design and adjacencies of programs and classes to very detailed work about classrooms and instructional spaces. I want to thank Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias for her all her planning and scheduling of this work with the Design Team. 


Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias and educational consultant Rachel Poliner presented on Belmont's Social Emotional Learning (SEL) work at the ASCD National Conference in Boston on March 26. We are proud to show this national audience the work we are involved in for our students and staff at Belmont. Thank you to Assistant Superintendent Darias for all her continued efforts in this task.


Please see the BPS website for information on the sessions and how to register for the 2018 Summer Enrichment program offered by BPS. Always a well-attended program, this year there is an early drop off option and new courses.


FBE reps., Asst. Supt. Janice Darias, CitySide Subaru reps The Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) announced the Subaru Share the Love Program donated $36,642 to the FBE. This is a record amount donated from this program. Thank you to the FBE and CitySide Subaru for this generous donation. Please read more about this program here.


  • Congratulations to the Chenery Science Olympiad teams that participated in the Science Olympiad state competition on March 3. This is a national program consisting of 23 events in science and engineering. Grades 6-8 CMS student teams spent months preparing for their test, lab and engineering competitions in a variety of events from building towers, racing home-made hovercrafts, solving mock crimes to investigating infectious diseases. The Chenery Regular (Varsity) team placed fourth in the state out of 30 programs, and the Chenery Alternate-1 team placed third state-wide in the alternate competition. Some of the CMS individual student teams from Alternate-2 team placed first in the state for their event: Saeyoung Choi and Tiffany Hu (Crime-busters), Alvin Lu and Shikhar Singh (Potions and Poisons), Alexander Wong and Sam Stevens (Solar System), Sam Stevens and Michael Xing (Wright Stuff). Congratulations to all of these students and coaches CMS Science Teachers JoAnne Marks, Jon Marks, and Niki Nitchie.
  • Julia Fogel, CMS ELA Teacher Carrie Salvato, Miles Towne Three Chenery sixth graders have been honored by the Library of Congress for their letters about literature. Lindsey Rinder, Director of English, ELE, and Reading, says that with the support of sixth grade ELA teacher Carrie Salvato, each student wrote to an author about how the author's book impacted him or her. Students wrote about how the books inspired them to persevere and to be compassionate to others.  Alana Zanoni was named a semi-finalist for her letter about I Am Malala.   Miles Towne and Julia Fogel were awarded with Honors at the state level, two of nine students in Massachusetts to be honored this way, for their letters about the I Survived series and Counting by 7s.  They and their families will be celebrated at the State House on April 24th. Congratulations to all.
  • The Chenery Math Team participated in the MathCounts Metro Chapter competition at Melrose High School last month. The team earned second place and two teammates earned 4th place distinction and got into the "honored countdown round" Congratulations to the team and to Mr. Golden for bringing the team to the state competition two years running.
  • CMS Community Svc. Club members Megan Serpa and Erica Chen for Pennies 4 Patients The CMS Community Service club raised more than $3,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Pennies for Patients program held from March 8 to March 16. The students collected money to support LLS's mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Community service club members helped by planning, advertising, and collecting donation boxes throughout the school. Congratulations to the members of the CMS Community Service Club and to CMS Math/Science Teacher and Community Service Club adviser Michael Williams for a great fundraiser.
  • BHS RoboticsTeam with their robot The Belmont High School Robotics Club competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) last month. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization partnered with NASA. The BHS team, Record Robotics, participated in the FRC North Shore District and the South East Mass. District. The team came in second place during the North Shore District event with alliance members. In addition, the BHS team visited the Butler, Wellington and Burbank Elementary schools to talk about STEM to third and fourth graders. Team members spoke about robotics, construction, problem solving, engineering, design and this season’s robot, Monolith. The 2018 season has been a great opportunity for the club’s members to learn about STEM, business, outreach, leadership and teamwork. To learn more about the team, please see their website at
  • Winn Brook Science Night - Telescope Winn Brook reported they had a very successful PTA Science Night on March 15. Children saw cans crushed by air, experimented with sound and light, built bridges, and launched rocket balloons, to name a few of the many hands-on exhibits.
  • Butler second graders had a visit from John Kenney and his sled dog. Kenney was brought in as enrichment to the Grade 2 Unit of Study about Alaska, sponsored by the PTA.
  • Wellington PTO had their annual carnival on March 17 at the high school. Always a huge event, there were crafts, carnival skill games, face painting, a raffle, and lots of fun had by all.
  • Burbank students tested their geography knowledge during the 23 Annual Dr. Feinberg Geography Challenge on March 22 and 23, a non-competitive learning event organized with help by the PTA. Students who elect to participate are in a three or four member team and answer questions found in the Study Guide, which is distributed before the Challenge day. The grades are scheduled for approximately one hour challenges (K & 1, and then Grade 2 on March 22, and Grades 3 & 4 on March 23). A Burbank tradition and a great way to have fun with geography.
  • Belmont Human Resources Department hosted the Greater Boston School Human Resources Network annual Diversity Job Fair for Educators on March 17 at the Wellington School. In the nine year history of this job fair, it was the first time Belmont has hosted. Three hundred educators attended the fair, and Director of Human Resources Mary Pederson reports the feedback from member districts was very positive; many stated this was the most successful fair in the organization’s history. We are encouraged by the large turnout and strong candidates that we met. Thank you to Mary Pederson, the Human Resources staff, members of the Leadership Council who were there to interview and recruit, and the BPS staff and student volunteers who helped with this event.


  • BHS Music Festival April 7, 2018 The music festival at BHS on April 7 was a huge all-day endeavor with performances by Sing-a-Rama, String-a-Rama, and Band-a-Rama. More than 1,600 students performed for well over 3,000 parents, relatives and friends in the audience. This was a great event with wonderful performances. Please see more from Visual and Performing Arts Director Arto Asadoorian:
There were hundreds of families who attended more than one concert on Saturday, and dozens who earned the “Triple Crown” by attending all three. Each of the performance on their own was fantastic, and the overall event was a wonderful celebration of the music-making that happens in our schools each day. It was a great day for music in Belmont! I would like to formally thank some of the key players that made this day possible: 

Each of our ensemble directors – Sean Landers, Sara Carson, Margot Reavey, Meg Dagon, Sharon Phipps, Jackie Viscardi, John McLellan and Paul Ketchen – planned and orchestrated this event down to the last detail. Two of our K-4 Music teachers, Katie Hayashi and Kassie Bettinelli also spent the day with us and were incredibly helpful and supportive. 

Mike Cotter, Earle Frazier and the members of the maintenance department, who literally moved a truckload of equipment from CMS to BHS and back to CMS again. We couldn’t do this without them.
Renato Papa and Anthony Tobio, who spent more than ten hours here on Saturday helping us set up for the event and then cleaning up after us. They were awesome.
Noreen Duggan, who organized all the details of chair rentals and deliveries, truck rentals, custodial and police details, A/V needs and much, much more.
Jim Davis, the BHS PE faculty and all of the spring coaches – thank you for letting us takeover the Field House, displacing your normal activities for the day.
Parents of Music Students volunteers, who helped usher thousands of people in and out of the performances all day.

Putting on a festival like this is a huge undertaking, but it was a huge success thanks to the incredible team of music teachers and all of the people who pitched in their support. Thanks again and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved.
  • Please see more great news from Director of Visual and Performing Arts Arto Asadoorian; congratulations to these students:

This past weekend a contingent of jazz musicians from BHS participated in the Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival. Several students were recognized for Outstanding Musicianship:

Jazz Collective: Nate Jones (trombone); Honor Hickman (tenor sax & flute); Anthony Haddad (bass)
Jazz Lab Band: Alex Park (trumpet); Nate Jones (trombone)
Jazz Combo: Nate Jones (trombone); Honor Hickman (tenor sax & flute)
The BHS Jazz Combo was also recognized with an Honorable Mention, and the Jazz Collective earned a 3-way tie with Timberlane HS and Lexington HS for the Outstanding Band Award in Class A. 
Last week the Jazz Collective performed at the MAJE Northeast District Sr. Festival and gave an excellent performance. Outstanding Musicianship awards for BHS were presented to: 
Nate Jones (trombone)
Honor Hickman (tenor sax)
Anthony Haddad (bass) 
Nate Jones also earned the festival’s Most Valuable Player Award.

The Belmont High School Jazz Collective had a great show at the MAJE State Finals and earned a Gold Medal for their performance. The Hatch Shell is currently under renovations, so this year’s MAJE Gold Medal Showcase will be held at the Berklee Performance Center from 12:00 - 4:00 PM on Sunday, May 13. Congratulations to Paul Ketchen and all of these fantastic jazz musicians!


All Events
04/09/2018 to 4/13/2018
Belmont HS
Tuesday, April 10
3:45 PM Boys Freshman Baseball Burlington High School Home
3:45 PM Girls Varsity Softball Burlington High School Home
3:45 PM Girls Varsity Lacrosse Wilmington High School Away
3:45 PM Girls Junior Varsity Softball Burlington High School Home
4:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse Wilmington High School Home
4:00 PM Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse Wilmington High School Home
4:00 PM Girls Varsity Rugby Needham High School Away
6:00 PM Girls Junior Varsity Lacrosse Wilmington High School Away
Wednesday, April 11
3:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis Woburn High School Away
3:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis Woburn High School Home
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Rugby St. John's Prep School Home
Thursday, April 12
3:45 PM Boys Varsity Baseball Wilmington High School Home
3:45 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse Stoneham High School Away
3:45 PM Boys Freshman Baseball Wilmington High School Away
3:45PM Boys Junior Varsity Baseball Wilmington High School Home
3:45PM Girls Varsity Softball Wilmington High School Home
3:45PM Girls Junior Varsity Softball Wilmington High School Home
4:30 PM Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse Cancelled- Stoneham High School Away
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Lacrosse Stoneham High School Home
6:00 PM Girls Junior Varsity Lacrosse Cancelled- Stoneham High School Home
Friday, April 13
3:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis Lexington High School Home
3:30 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse Arlington Catholic HS Away
3:30 PM Boys Varsity Outdoor Track Lexington High School Home
3:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis Lexington High School Away
3:30 PM Girls Varsity Outdoor Track Lexington High School Home\
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Softball Revere High School Home
4:30 PM Girls Junior Varsity Softball Revere High School Home
5:00 PM Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse Arlington Catholic HS Away

Please see below for the many achievements of our student athletes from Director of Athletics Jim Davis. Congratulations to them all.

  •  Winter Middlesex League All Star Awards 2018
    Boys Basketball

    Danny Yardemian
    Girls Basketball
    Carly Christofori – MVP; All League MVP
    Jess Giorgio
    Megan Tan
    Boys Ice Hockey
    Kevin Dacey
    Steve Rizzuto
    Girls Ice Hockey
    Meg Higgins
    Rachel Iler-ken
    Boys Indoor Track
    Merrill Barnes
    Rafael Burger
    Calvin Perkins
    Zachary Tse
    Girls Indoor Track
    Carey Allard
    Olivia Cella
    Emily Duffy
    Anoush Krafian – MVP
    Alexa Sabatino
    Boys Swim
    Ilias Arredouaini
    Damien Autissier
    Antony Bulat
    Luc Durand
    Will Findlay
    Tor Metelmann
    Samuel Thompson
    Rickey Ye
    Abe Lipson – Rookie of the Year
    Bryson Lipson
  • BHS 2018 Winter Athletic Awards

    Boys Varsity Indoor Track
    Sportsmanship Award: Max Serrano-Wu
    Coaches Award: Rafael Burger
    Boys Junior Varsity Indoor Track
    Sportsmanship Award: Archit Mehrotra
    Coaches Award: Colby Woo
    Girls Varsity Indoor Track
    Sportsmanship Award: Erin Looney 
    Coaches Award: Lillian Devitt
    Girls Junior Varsity Indoor Track
    Sportsmanship Award: Samantha Dignan  
    Coaches Award: Knar Krafian
    Boys Varsity Hockey
    Sportsmanship Award: Josh Alasso
    Coaches Award: Ben Brody
    Boys Junior Varsity Hockey
    Sportsmanship Award: Charlie Brodigan
    Coaches Award: Conneely Mullan
    Girls Varsity  Hockey
    Sportsmanship Award: Meghan Noone
    Coaches Award: Catherine Cunningham
    Girls Junior Varsity  Hockey
    Sportsmanship Award: Bridget Gray
    Coaches Award: Kara Goulding
    Boys Varsity Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Brian Kleckner
    Coaches Award: Tomas Donoyan
    Boys Junior Varsity Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Matthew Wu
    Coaches Award: Zach Hubbard
    Boys Freshman Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Mike Ciano
    Coaches Award: Killian Dullaghan
    Girls Varsity Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Greta Propp
    Coaches Award: The Team
    Girls Junior Varsity Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Samantha Jorgenson
    Coaches Award: Abbie Morin
    Girls Freshman Basketball
    Sportsmanship Award: Katelyn Sawyer
    Coaches Award: Reed Meier
    Boys Varsity Swim Team
    Sportsmanship Award: Nate Green
    Coaches Award: Will Findlay
    Boys Varsity Wrestling
    Sportsmanship Award: Max Murphy
    Coaches Award: Mizuki Kobayashi
    Boys Varsity Skiing
    Sportsmanship Award: Will Joaquin
    Coaches Award: Nick Coppolo
    Boys Junior Varsity Skiing
    Sportsmanship Award: Jagger Polvino
    Coaches Award: Parker Lutz
    Girls Varsity  Skiing
    Sportsmanship Award: Yasmine Aoua
    Coaches Award: Julia Martin
    Girls Junior Varsity Skiing
    Sportsmanship Award: Alice Hashemi
    Coaches Award: Grace Ramey
    Winter Varsity Cheer
    Sportsmanship Award: Stephen O’Brien
    Coaches Award: Eesha Bhagwat
  • 2018 All Americans
    The following BHS Girls and Boys Indoor Track teams members were awarded All Americans at the New Balance Scholastic National Championship Meet at the Armory Track Complex in New York City:
    Calvin Perkins, Emily Duffy, Soleil Tseng, and Max Serrano-Wu in the Mixed Gender 4x400m relay - 6th Place
    Anoush Krafian in the Pentathlon - 5th Place

  • BHS Athletes Named to the 2018 Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team (for their respective sports):
    Carly Christofori - Girls Basketball
    Kevin Dacey - Boys Ice Hockey
    Anoush Krafian - Girls Indoor Track - Pentathlon, 55 Hurdles
    Calvin Perkins - Boys Indoor Track (Belmont) 600
    Danny Yardemian - Boys Basketball

  • Belmont Boosters February Athlete Julia Martin, BHS Girls Alpine Skiing.PNG Belmont Boosters February Athlete Kevin Dacey, BHS Boys Ice Hockey Booster Male and Female Athletes of the Month - February
    Kevin Dacey, BHS Boys Ice Hockey, and Julia Martin, BHS Girls Alpine Skiing


Please see the Belmont library April newsletter here.


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


March 8 through April 12 - Grove Hall Library, 41 Geneva Ave., Dorchester - 4th Annual METCO Art Show with the art of our Boston based CMS students.

April 10 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

April 11 - BPS/BASEC Parent Lecture Series: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Building Community and Dialogue Around Adolescent Depression with Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh, LCSW

April 12 - 6:30 p.m. - Wellington Science Night

April 12 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Parent/Teacher Band Concert

April 14 -  BHS - ACT Testing

April 14-22 - April Recess

April 24 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

April 27 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Cafeteria - BHS Pops Concert #1

April 28 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Cafeteria - BHS Pops Concert #2

April 30 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - CMS Solo & Ensemble Concert




Burbank Geography Challenge  FBE reps., Asst. Supt. Janice Darias, CitySide Subaru reps  CMS Community Svc. Club members Megan Serpa and Erica Chen for Pennies 4 Patients  John Kenney and his sled dog-Alaska Unit Grade 2  CMS Principal Mike McAlliser at the Diversity Job Fair  Winn Brook Science Night - Telescope  Julia Fogel, CMS ELA Teacher Carrie Salvato, Miles Towne  BHS RoboticsTeam with their robot  BHS Music Festival April 7, 2018  Belmont Boosters February Athlete Julia Martin, BHS Girls Alpine Skiing.PNG  Belmont Boosters February Athlete Kevin Dacey, BHS Boys Ice Hockey 



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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
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