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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's Newsletter September 24, 2021

date 9/22/2021

It is hard to believe we are well into our second full week of school and into our first days of fall. We hope you are all enjoying the sunny days and cool nights we experience during September here in New England.

During these first few weeks of school, we are all getting used to the morning and afternoon traffic as we drop off and pick up children at schools.  At this time, we want to remind you Belmont enforces a 25 mph speed limit. It is important to be aware of our speed on the roads and be aware of walkers and bikers. Thank you in advance in helping to ensure the safety of our students getting to and from school.

This is the first Superintendent's Newsletter of the year, published monthly to give you news from the district. During the year, you will continue to receive emails from the school department, nursing, and your principals as necessary to give you important and/or operational information in a timely manner. We appreciate your attention and time with reading these newsletters and all the communication you receive from Belmont Public Schools.

In this September Issue:

School Committee
Teaching and Learning
School News
Food Services
FBE News

Belmont Public Library News
Useful Information

We understand you have received a plethora of emails this past month. In an effort to organize district communications, please go to School Opening 2021-2022. A link to the nursing page is also listed there.

For your convenience, please see the following links for important nursing information (also listed below in Useful Information as well as the Health Services page on the BPS website):

  • Bulletins from our nursing staff
  • Daily symptom checker
  • Consent form for Routine COVID Safety Checks (formerly known as pool testing) and Test and Stay for your children. We encourage all of our families to sign their children up for pool testing and "test and stay" by completing the consent form on our website. Without a signed consent form, a student who is in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID will be required to go home and quarantine and will not be able to take advantage of the "test and stay" program. Therefore, we ask you to take a moment now and sign the consent form.

Please also be aware of our updated process for communicating any COVID cases that happen within our school community. We will send one email every Wednesday summarizing any school-related cases each week. Families were sent an email on September 16 explaining the procedure. For further information, please see the Town of Belmont and school COVID-19 dashboard. Please feel free to contact me or our Director of Nursing, Beth Rumley if you have any questions about any COVID-related issues.

We want to remind you that all volunteers who work inside our schools are required to submit proof of vaccination. This, along with masking and other health protocols, helps ensure a safe environment for all students and staff in our buildings.

Announcing Vaccination Clinic at Chenery: A vaccination clinic will be held for all age eligible students (12 and older) on Thursday, September 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please keep an eye out for a nursing communication that gives more information and sign up details.


MCAS spring 2021 Update: We presented the Belmont spring 2021 MCAS results at the September 21 School Committee meeting. As you have read from media reports, there has been an impact to student achievement outcomes in schools across the state. It is worth noting Belmont outperformed the state, and we maintained during the pandemic. However, here in Belmont, we have our own expectations to meet. We will use MCAS scores as one of our diagnostic tools, comparing these results to our district data, to help move the teaching and learning work forward in the district. Using our ESSER federal funds, we have proactively added supports in our schools to scaffold the academic recovery and social emotional recovery work to help facilitate our learning outcomes during this transition time. Districts will receive parent/guardian reports on September 30 and will mail them to families the first week of October.

Health and Vaccine Update: Please see the Superintendent's Report to the School Committee on September 21 for an update on testing, vaccine information and testing procedures.

Face Masks/Coverings Updated Policy: The School Committee updated the current mask/face coverings policy to reflect the latest guidance from the Town, state, and public health officials at the September 21 meeting. 

Extracurricular Vaccine Requirement Policy: At the September 21 meeting, the School Committee discussed a vaccine requirement for BPS students who participate in rostered school extracurriculars that occur outside of the school day. The School Committee policy subcommittee will revisit this topic to look at implementation, timelines, and effective dates. This subject will be posted on the agenda for a vote at a later School Committee meeting. 

BHS Handbook/Attendance Policy: BHS Principal Isaac Taylor discussed revising the BHS Handbook/Attendance Policy with the School Committee at the September 21 meeting. Revisions include adding a guiding statement for attendance, changing attendance definitions, and make up work after an excused absence. Principal Taylor will be communicating these revisions to the BHS community.

State Representatives Attend the School Committee Meeting: Rep. David Rogers and Sen. William Brownsberger spoke at the School Committee meeting on September 21. They spoke of vaccination, school funding, and discussed curriculum modifications for equity and inclusion. Please go to the Belmont Media Center webpage under OnDemand to view the September 21 School Committee meeting.


We held a district-wide professional development session on September 9 with C. Lissette Castillo, Managing Director of Professional Learning at Black Print Education Consulting. The Keynote was Developing and Nurturing Culturally Responsive Teachers, Classrooms and Schools. All faculty and staff were in attendance remotely and then worked in small groups in their schools in person.


BHS Head Cook Teresa Vidette, Food Services Dir. Dustin O'Brien, and Asst. Dir. Gail Mulani Our Food Services Director Dustin O'Brien always has new and innovative ways to ensure our children have meals that are delicious and nutritious. Please see the Food Services page on the BPS website for information on menus and updates for the school year. There is also an information sheet on what meals look like for students during this school year.


Burbank first day of K 9.13.2021 Schools have been holding family picnics, ice cream socials, and other family gatherings this month. We are so happy people are able to meet and greet each other during this time at the beginning of the school year. Please enjoy a few beginning of school pictures below in the gallery.


SEPAC Logo Please see the Belmont Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) page on the BPS website for information about workshops, events, and presentations SEPAC holds throughout the school year.


FBE Apple Run 2021 The Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) is holding its annual FBE Apple 5K and 2K raced on October 3. The run is in its ninth year (six years as the Dan Scharfman Memorial Run), and brings runners from Massachusetts to Belmont to support public education. The FBE awards grants to Belmont Public Schools that help support teaching and learning for our students. Please see the FBE website for more about the FBE and the Apple Run and how to register to run.


Belmont Public Library is holding a Fall Book Sale on Sunday, September 26, from 11;00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the library parking lot (rain date is November 7). Revenues support programming for adults, teens and children including passes to Boston-area museums, the upcoming author series, and online Tai Chi.


For your convenience, below are links to useful information.

Belmont Public Schools:

Town and State:

Butler start of school  Butler Grade 1 classroom first day of school  Butler grade 2 students first day of school  SEPAC Logo  FBE Apple Run 2021  Burbank first day of K 9.13.2021  Burbank first day of school 9.9.2021  CMS first few days of school  Wellinton K students first day of school  First Day of School at Winn Brook  First Day of School at Winn Brook 2  Winn Book First Day of School 3  BHS first days of school  BHS Head Cook Teresa Vidette, Food Services Dir. Dustin O'Brien, and Asst. Dir. Gail Mulani