From the Principal's Desk - Week of December 20, 2021

Dear Belmont Families,

As we look forward to the holiday season, I would like to remind everyone that our goal at the school this year is to not only keep our school open but to keep the school experience as positive as possible. So far this year, we have been able to have after school athletics and concerts, as well as fairly normal classes, with group work, science labs, and opportunities for discussions and collaboration. 

I have been thankful that we have been able to work with the Belmont Health Department this year to take a proactive approach to the virus and employ a range of mitigation strategies in school and in town, including an early mask mandate in August, and community testing and vaccine clinics for our youngest students and booster shots. We have also benefited from very high vaccination rates at the high school, with all staff and ninety percent of students vaccinated. So far, we have had limited cases, but we do acknowledge that we may be faced with increased cases in January.

With case numbers rising, and the emergence of the Omicron variant, I am asking everyone to recommit to following our safety protocols, including masking in public indoor spaces (including at athletic events and performances), social distancing where possible, and using the symptom checker daily before coming to school (please only submit this form if you fail the symptom checker). I encourage all staff and students to participate in our free pool testing program to help keep our community healthy.

If you would like to be pool tested, regardless of vaccination status, a parent must fill out a consent to test form. Once you have consented, test kits can be picked up from the nurses on Tuesday (there is a box in the nurse's office- pick up an envelope which includes information on how to collect the sample, which is a front-of-nasal collection which should not be painful). Samples should be returned to the nurses office on Wednesday morning before 9:55 am. We are not testing next Wednesday 12/23 due to the holiday, but will be back to testing on January 5 2021. Unvaccinated athletes (either under 16 or with an exemption) must test weekly to remain eligible. Because this is a pool test, no news is good news. If the pool tests positive, each swab is then individually tested, so there is no need for a second collection. If you test positive, you will be notified. A reminder that pool testing is a snapshot in time, and the symptom checker should continue to be used.

 I appreciate that we have been in the midst of this pandemic for almost two years now. I acknowledge that there is burnout and frustration around the limitations that this puts on our daily lives, and I thank everyone for continuing to follow the rules and guidance.

Isaac Taylor he/him
Principal

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Changes to Lunches

Starting on January 3, students will receive one lunch or breakfast free each day, and will pay for additional food. If you have any questions about this please contact the food services office at 617-993-5871 or email Gail Mulani, Assistant Food Service Director, at gmulani@belmont.k12.ma.us

Q2 Progress Reports: 

Reminder that progress reports for Q2 were posted to student portals at the end of last week.shu

 PTSO Chipotle Fundraiser

 Looking for an excuse to go to Chipotle? Stop by Wednesday, December 22nd, and support the BHS PTSO!

Stop by the Chipotle at Fresh Pond (227 Alewife Brook Pkwy) on 12/22 from 4-8pm, and 30% of your tab will go to support the BHS PTSO. You must show the flyer (hard copy or on your phone) or mention the fundraiser when ordering.

Online ordering code is: 6G6B62W

See the flyer and the online ordering instructions sheet for more information.

Belmont Food Pantry Drive

This is Allyson Gomez-Martin and I will be holding a food drive for the Belmont Food Pantry from December 13th-23rd at BHS! I'll be collecting any non-perishable foods, you can find a list on the website here: https://sites.google.com/site/thebelmontfoodpantry/menu. Anything of any quantity is accepted, but products must be in their original, unopened packages, and please be weary of common allergies. If you have any questions, feel free to email agomezmartin25@belmontschools.net. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Clothing Drive to support Boston Area Families in Need

When: December 16th (Thursday) and 17th (Friday) @ 4-6 PM

Where: Donations will be collected outside the main entrance of the school. Please use the drop off loop to safely drop off donations at our collection stand. 

Items we are collecting: 

·         Clothing and coats (youth sizes 0–20 and adult sizes small & medium)

·         New socks and underwear.

·         New Pajamas.

·         Shoes, boots, sneakers, and sandals (infant/child sizes 0–13 and adult sizes 1–10)

·         Books, especially baby board books.

·         New arts and crafts/school supplies.

·         Unopened diapers, all sizes.

·         New hygiene items.

Most needed items: 

·         Winter Coats and Jackets

·         New and Reusable Face Masks

·         New Pajamas

·         Any childrens/young adult books

Please contact spyo23@belmontschools.net for any questions

5 Minutes Ago

Every week, the 5 Minutes Ago team puts out a short video with news, information, and a cultural snapshot of BHS. This videos created by this student run group, advised by Ms. Masterson, are shown during the school day on Monday. You can view these videos here.

Snow Shovelling for senior citizens 

Community Service Update From The Belmontian Club! 

To sign up to be a Snow shoveler for Senior citizens fill out this google form: https://forms.gle/f34G8b4zg5GmWX7s7

Remember you do not need to shovel driveways!

From The Department of Recreation

the Belmont Recreation Department is seeking volunteers for their S.P.O.R.T Program. Contact Heidi Barberio at 617-993-2760 or email hbarberio@belmont-ma.gov for registration details.

Belmont/Watertown S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time)

·         Floor Hockey (Special Olympic Based) Wednesday nights at Winn Brook School 6:30pm to 7:30pm, now until March 2nd.

·         Basketball (Special Olympic Based) on Monday evenings varied locations local schools starting November 29th.

·         Mini-Camp (arts and craft, social program): Saturdays 10:30am-12noon at the Beech St Center, from December 4th to January 29th

·         Ice Skating: Sunday afternoons 2pm and 3pm at the Belmont Rink, now until December 19th. Second session 2pm and3pm is January 19th to February 13th

Guidance Information:

Juniors:

We are working hard to support our families this school year with additional resources. Our friends at Revolution Prep are offering a practice SAT and ACT to all families. Please see below…

Practice SAT Exams

This is a great chance to get started on your testing plan, or if you have already started, it will provide additional practice. Taking practice tests under timed conditions is essential to being ready for the official test. A proctored practice exam will help your child build testing endurance and give a real-time snapshot of his or her testing performance.

 SAT practice

Date:  Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Time: 9:00AM-1:00PM EST

Where: Live Online!  

Register here: https://www.revolutionprep.com/partners/626/  

 Materials will be emailed to students 24 hours before the exam. 

Every exam comes with a free 30-minute score report review with a Revolution Prep testing expert to assess specific strengths and areas of improvement. We highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. Schedule your consultation to review the score report with a dedicated Revolution Prep team member, who will help you interpret the results and develop a customized plan to prepare for the official exam. You can pre-schedule this Score Report Review here: https://my.revolutionprep.com/s/newengland      

Questions? If you have additional questions or want to learn more about Revolution Prep, you can reach out to a dedicated Revolution Prep team member at (800) 878-1850 or by email at newengland@revolutionprep.com

Elizabeth Willard
Regional Events Coordinator, Revolution Prep
917.983.9069 | elizabeth.willard@revolutionprep.com | revolutionprep.com

AP Payment Information

Invoices were sent earlier this week from myschoolbucks regarding your child’s bill for signing up for the Advanced Placement Exam(s) that will take place in May. It is the on-line payment system that the district uses for collecting athletic fees, school lunches and other fees, like AP exams.  Please follow the link for the on-line payment. There is a small processing fee that is attached to the payments.

Reminders from past weeks!

Nursing updates:

  • Please continue to review the Daily Symptom Checker. If your student does not pass the checker, you must keep them home and complete the Absence Follow Up Form to notify the nurses. 
    • In order to be cleared to return, your student will need either a negative PCR test result or a provider note with an alternative diagnosis.
  • If your student is unvaccinated and identified as a close contact during school, they must have a Consent Form already on file to participate in Test and Stay. Email all testing-related questions to bpscovidtest@belmont.k12.ma.us 

Attendance

Student absences and dismissals must be reported before the absence occurs. Notes can be sent to the office in advance of a known absence. If a student is sick, please call the absence line before the start of the school day: (617) 993-5999. If a student becomes ill at school, they should be dismissed from the nurse’s office (see nurses update). Questions about attendance can be directed to Joan Paras jparas@belmont.k12.ma.us.

9th and 10th grade students - If students have a free first of last period, parents can set up a standing early dismissal or late arrival with the office. Please reach out to Joan Paras (617) 993-5902 jparas@belmont.k12.ma.us.

Junior/Senior off-campus privileges

A reminder that juniors and seniors are the only students allowed off-campus privileges at BHS. Students in good standing are able to leave campus during a free period, with parent permission. It is the students’ responsibility to get back to school on-time for their next class. Parents of juniors and seniors must complete the off campus application form to approve off-campus privileges for their student. 

Senior Off-Campus Application Form

Junior Off-Campus Application Form






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