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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's Newsletter June 11, 2021

date 6/11/2021

Congratulations to our high school seniors who graduated on June 5. This year, we had graduation outside on Harris Field rather than the BHS Field House. It was a beautiful day, and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate this event and be together. We wish our graduates well in their future endeavors. We also want to congratulate and recognize our eighth grade class who move up to the high school, and our fourth grade class who will move up to Chenery.

We are ending this school year better than we started and will begin next year stronger. We plan on beginning school full in-person in September, given the encouragement of the town and state COVID metrics, the availability of COVID vaccines, and DESE guidelines given on May 27. During the summer, you will get further updates as we get closer to the start of school.

Our wonderful town and school partners have helped us all get through this extraordinary year. We want to thank them, the advisory groups that helped us navigate our return to school in-person safely, the nursing staff, educators, BPS staff, and families who have given their time and input to support our students and our schools.

As you know, the last day of school for this year is June 16 which is a half day for students and a full day for staff. We at Belmont Public Schools wish everyone a wonderful summer. We look forward to the return of students and staff on the dates below:

  • September 8: First day for staff
  • September 9: First day of school for grades 1-12 (early release)
  • September 10 and September 13: Kindergartners report for half day (half of the kindergarten class on each day. Your school will notify you which day to report)
  • September 13: Preschool visits
  • September 14: First day of Preschool

In this June issue:

School Committee
Continuation of 1:1 Mobile Device Program
School News
Visual and Performing Arts
Staff Appreciation Day
Retiree Resolutions
BPS Preschool Currently Enrolling for 2021-2022
Foundation for Belmont Education
Useful Information


Return to In-Person Learning Working Group Update: We presented the learning working group’s update on the fall 2021 return to school at the School Committee meeting on June 8. Please see the presentation which gives an overview of current state and DESE guidance and steps we will take throughout the summer into the fall to ensure a robust full in-person start.

ESSER I and ESSER II Grants: At the June 8 School Committee meeting, we had the first formal discussion of how to spend the ESSER I and ESSER II grants. We presented three options of how to proceed and prioritized one-time federally funded positions. The school department outlined the spending priority as academic recovery; mental health and social-emotional recovery; equity, access, and supports for underserved students; and professional development for staff. We want to ensure our students have the foundation needed in the fall when we return to school full in-person. The Town of Belmont is still awaiting clear guidance from the state on funding from the federal American Recovery Act. We may not know what portion the school department will receive until later in the summer. The School Committee will continue to discuss the three options and the positions outlined at the next finance meeting on Tuesday, June 15 in preparation for a vote at the June 22 School Committee meeting. This will be the last meeting for school year 2020-2021. Please see the School Committee page on the BPS website for more information and access to the meetings. To view the grant discussion at the June 8 meeting, please go to the Belmont Media Center website.

Grade 8 Accelerated Math Program: We discussed and presented the accelerated geometry program for grade 8 to the School Committee and the public at the May 25 meeting. Following that meeting, Chenery Principal Karla Koza and Math Director Jonathan Golden held a family information night for grade 7 students on May 26. Please see the Challenger Geometry Program presentation presented at the May 17 School Committee meeting for more information.


The district will continue its 1:1 mobile device program in the 2021-2022 school year. We have learned a great deal about the benefits of every student having a device and will continue this program next fall. Students will retain their device this summer; except rising grade 3 and rising grade 9 students (see additional information below). When students return in September, each school will provide families with information on how the devices will be used, including if the device should be brought into school each day.
Furthermore, please note:

  • Current grade 2 students (entering grade 3 this fall) will receive a separate email in July containing instructions on how to exchange their iPad for a Chromebook.
  • Current grade 8 students (entering grade 9 this fall) will return their Chromebook on the last day of school, June 16. Chenery will send additional details on this. You will also receive an e-mail in July containing instructions on how to pick up a Dell touch-screen Chromebook later in the summer.
  • If your child will not be returning to the Belmont Public Schools next fall, or you no longer wish to use a district-issued device, please complete this form so we may arrange for the device's return.
  • All families with a district-issued device will be asked to review and sign a Device Care and Responsibilities form. This form will be emailed in July.

If you have any questions, please e-mail: studentsupport@belmontschools.net.


  • BHS 2021 Graduating Class Congratulations to the BHS graduating class of 2021! Please see pictures of some senior events in the gallery, and the graduation ceremony held on June 5. Please go to the Belmont Media website to view graduation day
  • BHS Marauder of the Week are Lot Bates for the week of June 11, Matty Rowan for the week of June 4, Kayla Kiely for the week of May 28, Jennifer Yu for the week of May 21, and Henry Zuccarello for the week of May 14. Please go to the BHS website to read more about these students.
  • Congratulations to BHS student Derek Chen, one of four students selected for the USA Biolympiad (USABO) Team to represent the U.S. at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), virtually hosted in Lisbon this summer. He was selected after being named a 2021 USA Biolympiad (USABO) National Finalist. After two rounds of challenging exams, twenty finalists are invited to a residential training program where they learn advanced biological concepts and exacting lab skills at the USABO National Finals. From there, four students are selected to advance to this international competition.
  • Congratulations to BHS students Dahlia Liu and Dabel Liu for their Honorable Mentions at the Massachusetts State Science Fair after receiving Outstanding Chemistry Project and Outstanding Computer Science/Math Project, respectively, in the Region IV Science Fair.
  • CMS Fifth Grade Time capsule Chenery fifth graders are putting together a time capsule to put in their memories of the past pandemic year. Items such as letters to themselves, drawing a picture that tells a story or identifying words and images will be in the capsule. The items will be on display before the end of this school year, and then the closed capsule is on display at CMS for the sixth and seventh graders. The plan is to move it to the Belmont Middle and High School when this class moves on in eighth grade and then open it in 2028, the year they graduate. 
  • Vaccines at Chenery We are pleased we were able to partner with Pelmeds Pharmacy to offer the two dose Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination series to our students ages 12 and up at Chenery and Belmont High School on May 24. Thank you to our nursing staff for organizing this day. There is a second COVID vaccine clinic on June 14. Please see the BPS nursing services page on the BPS website for more information.


  • Congratulations to the Fifty-four students from CMS and BHS, accepted to perform in the Massachusetts Music Education Association (MMEA) Northeast Junior District honors ensembles this year. The remote festival took place on May 1, and included students from school districts across eastern and northeast Massachusetts. Please see the BPS website for more information.
  • BHS Performing Arts Company (PAC) is ending this school year with two more shows. One is a live improv show outdoors on June 11, and the other is a streaming premier of Some Enchanted Evening on Saturday June 12, and Sunday, June 13. Please go to the PAC website for more information.


Staff Recognition Day, held on May 19, virtually celebrated 51 staff members of Belmont Public Schools for their years of service ranging from ten to 25. Please see the BPS website for more information.


BPS recognized 12 staff members who are retiring this school year, celebrated at a virtual ceremony held before the School Committee meeting on June 8. School Committee members read the resolutions of these retirees. We want to thank our staff members for their commitment and dedication in working with the students and staff in our schools, and we wish them well in their retirement.
Heather Blake, Nurse, Burbank
Romario Castro, Custodian, Chenery
Jim Davis, Athletic Director, BPS
Joan DiPace, Kindergarten Classroom Assistant, Wellington
Jennifer Duffy, Professional Aide, Preschool
Cynthia Femino, Administrative Assistant, Belmont High School
Cathy Grant, Executive Administrative Assistant, Superintendent for BPS
Robin Hines, Library Aide, Burbank
David Learner, School Psychologist, Chenery
Alice Melnikoff, Community Service Coordinator, Belmont High School
Hester Murray, Special Educator, Winn Brook
Patty Soliozy, Math Director Grades 5-12, BPS


Did you know Belmont has an integrated Preschool Program for students who are 3-5 years old? They are currently enrolling for school year 2021-2022. For more information, please go to the Preschool page on the BPS website. To apply now, please go to the Preschool Application Form.


The FBE awarded the April 2021 Rapid Response Grants, the final award for the school year, totaling $4,131. We thank the FBE for creating these grants that provided quick and responsive funding for needs educators encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the FBE website for more information.


For your convenience, below are links to useful information from previous newsletters.

Belmont Public Schools:

Town and State:



BHS 2021 Graduating Class  BHS 2021 Graduation  Parents at BHS Graduation 2021  BHS Sr. BBQ 6.4.2021  BHS Sr. BBQ food area  BHS Sr. BBQ game table  Sr. BBQ hoops  BHS Sr. Awards  Dir. of Visual and Performing Arts Arto Asadoorian at Sr. Awards  BHS Sr. Movie Night  BHS Sr. Graduation Signs on Concord Ave.  CMS Fifth Grade Time capsule  Vaccines at Chenery  Improv show poster  Some Enchanted Evening poster