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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's Newsletter June 2022

date 6/17/2022

Congratulations to our high school seniors who graduated on June 4. 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.

At this time, we want to thank the Belmont Public Schools staff, families, and our town and school partners for all they do to support our students throughout the school year.

As you know, the last day of school for this year is June 22 which is a half day for students and a full day for staff. We wish everyone a wonderful summer. We also look forward to the return of students and staff on the dates below:

  • September 6: First day for staff
  • September 7: First day of school for grades 1-12 (early release)
  • September 8 and September 9: Kindergartners report for half day (half of the kindergarten class on each day. Your school will notify you which day to report)
  • September 9: Preschool visits
  • September 12: First day of Preschool

In this June issue:

School Committee
Summer Enrichment Open for Registration
Belmont Preschool Open for September 2022 Enrollment
School News
Helpful Links


Science and Technology/Engineering Plan of Action: Liz Baker, Director of Science and Technology Grades 5-12, and Jess DeFrances, Elementary Curriculum Specialist Math and Science, gave a presentation  of the BPS Science and Technology/Engineering Department curriculum program review process and the plan of action to the School Committee at the June 7 meeting. Presentations to the School Committee and the public on meeting district goals are part of the regular assessment of department curriculum and instructional programs. Please see Belmont Media On Demand for this presentation beginning at 52:20.

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Update:  School Committee member Mike Crowley, Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias, now-former School Committee member Ralph Jones, and Lisa Gibalerio from Belmont Wellness Coalition (BWC) held meetings to assess the recommendations the BWC made in response to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), presented by BWC to the School Committee on November 9, 2021. One recommendation was to explore the possibility of creating a student peer mental health mentorship pilot for 2022-2023. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, an organization Ms. Gibalerio is affiliated with, allocated grant money for a 20-hour a week part-time Youth Engagement Specialist as an onsite liaison at schools. The specialist will begin to develop a peer mentorship program during the summer that will begin at BHS next school year.

Food Services Update: Food Services Update: At the June 7 School Committee meeting, Food Services Director Dustin O'Brien gave a presentation that reviewed the year and looked at changes in food services for next year. As you may know, universal free meals have been served since the start of the pandemic through federal and state funds. Beginning with the 2022-2023  school year, that universal funding is no longer available. We are still waiting on the state funding decision, which we hope will be known by or before June 30, as free and reduced applications for families become available in July. As of now without knowing what the state will give, we are not addressing meal prices for next year, and at this time, pricing will be the same as it was pre-pandemic. We will update our families on how we are proceeding in the fall as information becomes available. Please also visit the Food Services page on the BPS website.

BHS Attendance Policy and CMS Resource Guide: Chenery Middle School Principal Karla Koza presented the Parent/Student Resource Guide, a handbook for the Chenery community to use as a shared tool to support students and align with Chenery's core values. Belmont High School Principal Isaac Taylor presented a summary of process and changes to the attendance policy to align with the high school's Guiding Statement as well as provide clarifying language to tardy vs. absent for the BHS community.

BPS Hiring and DEI Update: Director of Human Capital Mike McAllister presented what BPS is and will be doing to hire and retain diverse staff, and DEI Director Chont'el Washington presented on the charge of the Equity Action Plan Steering Committee to the School Committee at the May 24 meeting. These presentations and next steps were based on feedback from the district Equity Audit report, virtual forums, and parent and community member questionnaires.

Information on the district's DEI initiatives, including the results of the Equity Audit and progress on the current Equity Action Plan phase, is located on the DEI page of the BPS website. Please see the DEI News and Updates page for the latest events, exhibits, and news. If you have an item to share, please email details to cwashington@belmontschools.net.

District Configuration Transition Plan: This presentation to the School Committee at the June 14 meeting goes through the timeline of the new district configuration of the grades 7 and 8 wing at the Belmont Middle and High School (fall 2023), the middle school with grades 4-6 and grades K-3 at the elementary schools (fall 2024), and the transition work and staffing involved in these shifts. With an eye to completing the numerous tasks at hand, the school department is proposing a one-year position for FY23, Director of District Configuration, to help with this transition plan. In collaboration with the school department, this position would be a liaison who handles communication and provides opportunities for public input and voices, communicates with the Building Committee, works with staff on technology integration and curriculum and instruction. We will also appoint a current administrator to a one-year position to act as an upper elementary principal to help with the transition to the K-3 and 4-6 schools. To view the entire presentation, please go to Belmont Media Center On Demand. This topic will be discussed and voted on by the School Committee at the June 22 meeting.

Safety Forum: As you may know, the School Committee held a safety forum on May 31. If you wish to view this forum, please go to Belmont Media Center On Demand.

Math Working Group Website Page:  The Math Working Group page on the BPS website is now available for viewing. Documents and findings from the group are located under the Administration tab. The presentation given to the School Committee at the April 12 meeting gives a timeline for establishing the working group, the make-up of the group, and when the group will present their short-term and long-term recommendations.

The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m. Please see the agenda and access on the School Committee page on the BPS website.


BPS Summer Enrichment program is now open for registration, offering a variety of classes for incoming Pre-K through incoming grade 7. Please go to the BPS website for more information about the program and registration.


Belmont Integrated Preschool Program, located at the Wellington School, is currently enrolling children who are 3-5 years old and are currently accepting students for September 2022. Please go to the BPS website for more information. To apply, please go to the preschool application page.


  • STEM Alumni Panel The first annual BHS STEM Alumni Panel was held on May 18 in collaboration with the BPS Science Department and the Belmont STEAM Alliance. Ten BHS alums majoring in college in a range of STEM fields came back to Belmont to answer questions on their experiences in high school and college and to help advise any interested students and parents. These former BHS students are currently attending Harvard, University of Rochester, WPI, Boston University, Brandeis, Northeastern, University of New Hampshire, and University of Rhode Island. Director of Science, Health, and Technology Education Liz Baker says the evening was full of fond high school memories, amusing college anecdotes, and great moments of mentorship.
  • Student presenting Capstone project BHS held their Senior Capstone Exhibition on May 18. There, students displayed and talked about their portfolios and final projects. Capstone began in 2019 as a pilot program offering students the opportunity to present their senior theses as a project-based learning alternative to the traditional senior theses. At that time, only 50 students took part. Due to COVID, there were no exhibitions in 2020 and 2021. This year is particularly exciting because of the return to the exhibition format and also because approximately 320 students, a majority of the graduating class, will be sharing their work.
  • BHS Graduation 2022 Congratulations to our BHS graduates! Please see the video from the June 4 commencement on Belmont Media Center beginning at 1:51:39.
  • Congratulations to BHS Junior Derek Chen, selected for the USA Biolympiad (USABO) team which will represent the U.S. at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), hosted in Armenia this summer. He is one of four students who will represent Team USA at IBO. The other three students are from California, Illinois, and Maryland.
  • CMS fifth graders took part in the first ever Belmont Math Hunt. During the event, themed problem sets were distributed throughout 12 classrooms like a scavenger hunt. Over a 90 minute period, individuals and small teams roamed the rooms and conquered fun and challenging problems. Thanks to a group of Belmont High School students who worked to organize the event, write the problem sets, grade, and make this a great experience for the Chenery students.
  • Student cuts ribbon CMS had a Solar Project ribbon cutting on May 24 at the school. CMS Principal Karla Koza and James Booth from the Belmont Energy Committee gave the background and the steps taken to go solar. CMS Science Teacher Ben Ligon, with his sixth grade class in the audience, talked about how his students will study the cause of the seasons in science class, and will gather evidence on the Earth's axis by analyzing the season changes in electricity generation from the solar panels. To view production information, please see the SunBug Solar portal.
  • Veterans at WB Memorial Day Exercises WB held Memorial Day Exercises to thank and honor veterans for their service and sacrifice. In attendance were local veterans who listened to patriotic music and remarks from Winn Brook Principal Anita Mecklenburg and the Officer of the Day.
  • Winn Brook will have the same start and end time as the other three elementary schools (8:40 a.m.) beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. Winn Brook had a later start of ten minutes due to a bus transportation challenge in place years ago that has since been remedied. This time change allows children to all start and end the school day at the same time, colleagues to collaborate and meet at the district level, and professional development scheduling at the district level.
  • BPS held a virtual retiree ceremony before the School Committee meeting on June 7. We thank our retirees listed below for their service to the Belmont Public Schools, and we wish them well in their next endeavors. 
    Rene Magier - Speech and Language Pathologist
    Gina Hayes - BPS Payroll Coordinator
    Richard Preston - Audio-Visual Specialist/Technology
    Jocelyn Record - Professional Aide-Library/Butler
    Adrienne Talamas - World Language Educator
    Barbara Mahoney - Head Cook/Wellington


For your convenience, below are links to useful information.

Belmont Public Schools:

Town and State:

BHS Graduation 2022  Student presenting Capstone project  BHS 2022 Capstone Project Viewing  STEM Alumni Panel  Student cuts ribbon  Solar panels on CMS  Veterans at WB Memorial Day Exercises  BPS Summer Enrichment