Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at Belmont Middle School includes courses in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Education, Technology and Health Education, reading and English Language development (for students identified as English Learners according to Massachusetts state guidelines). The Belmont Public Schools curricula are aligned with state standards and designed to develop students’ skills and understanding from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Each discipline is led by a curriculum director, who can be contacted with questions or comments.

Belmont Public Schools' Curriculum and Learning Benchmarks are available on the district web site: Learning Benchmarks.

Family Guides

These guides to the Massachusetts learning standards help families understand what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Designed to help families and teachers work together to support learning, the guides are available in English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Simplified Chinese. 

For more information on learning standards for each grade see the Learning Standards on the DESE website

Curriculum Directors

Lisa Hurtubise - English Language Arts Curriculum Director

(617) - 993-5945

Lindsey Rinder - English Language (ELE) Education Director

(617) - 993-1044

Jonathan Golden - Mathematics Director

(617) - 993-5965

Deborah McDevitt - Social Studies Director

(617) - 993-5985

Elizabeth Baker - Science and Technology/Engineering Director

(617) - 993-5975

Marie Penner-Hahn - World Languages Director

(617) - 993-5955

Arto Asadoorian- Visual and Performing Arts Director

(617) - 993-5995

Adam Pritchard - After School Athletics Director

(617) - 993-5935

Homework Guidelines

At the Belmont Middle School we believe that homework is important. It helps students learn responsible work habits. Developing a regular routine of doing homework is also important to prepare students for success at Belmont High School. That does not mean, however, that more homework is necessarily better. The important question to ask when considering homework is not “How much homework should be given?” but "What is the right type of homework to give?"

Effective homework assignment possesses three qualities:

  • It is meaningful
  • It is closely connected to the curriculum
  • It helps further a student's learning

If homework does not fulfill these three qualities it can become a rote task that is completed without enthusiasm or engagement, and can become a major source of frustration for students and their parents/guardians. If, however, homework is carefully selected according to these three qualities, it can be an important source of learning.

Respective responsibilities:

Teachers

  • Give clear concise directions and allow opportunity for student questions
  • Assign homework on a regular basis
  • Assign long-term assignments (including projects and reports), providing interim due dates when necessary
  • Communicate with their team to coordinate an appropriate amount of nightly homework
  • Have a clear policy regarding make-up work after an absence or for incomplete/missing homework

Students

  • Record the homework in your agenda book
  • Ask questions when necessary to clarify the assignment
  • Take home all necessary materials
  • Plan time for completion of long-term assignments
  • Hand in neat, accurate and meaningful work on time
  • Seek help when assignments present difficulty
  • Determine and complete homework assigned while absent

PortalPlus

Staff, students, and parents will receive activation codes which will allow them to create their own accounts. Report cards and progress reports (grades 7-8) are posted online. Also student network login info and other school contact information.

BMS PlusPortal

Make-up Work

Students absent from school are expected to make up all work assigned or completed during their absence. It is the student’s responsibility to ask teachers about work that needs to be made up. In the event of a student’s multiple day absence due to illness, parents may request homework assignments through the guidance office. In extenuating circumstances, teachers may grant additional time for making up work. Work not completed and turned in within the allotted time may not be accepted for full credit.

Extra Help

We encourage students to ask their teacher for extra help when needed. Teachers are available to provide additional help after school at least once a week.

Technology

Technology services are provided to every aspect of the Belmont Public Schools. Our technology department’s services enable the district to function efficiently and collaboratively.

Please leave personal electronic devices at home. If a student has a phone or wearable electronic device (e.g., Smartwatches, Smart Glasses, other personal devices), the device must be kept off and away during the school day. Students who have a medical reason to wear a smartwatch or other wearable device should provide documentation to the school nurse, who can communicate the exception to school staff. Any families who need to contact their children during the school day are asked to avoid using phones and wearable electronic devices but to instead call the school directly and speak to our office staff.

For information on the Student Network Acceptable Use Policy (Grades K-12) see Student-AUP document. For School Committee policies relating to technology in the Belmont Public Schools see Policy #0004.

Standardized Testing

The Belmont Public Schools participates in the state-mandated testing program. BMS students engage in different standardized tests, including ACCESS for ELLs and MCAS. ACCESS testing is administered for ELL students in grades K-12. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is administered in Grades 3 through 10.

The Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) for English Language Learners is administered to all students who are enrolled in our English Language Learner program. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires that all English Learners be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making in learning English. The ACCESS for ELLs tests replaced MEPA tests beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. The season for ACCESS for ELLs testing begins in Early January and ends in early February.

For information about ACCESS for ELLs testing please visit DESE ACCESS for ELLs .

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is administered to all students in Grades 7 and 8. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires all Grade 8 students to take the online version for ELA and Math. For consistency we have all students take the online version. All students have 2 days of English Language Arts and 2 days of Math. Those students who have Science, Technology, and Engineering have an additional 2 days of testing. MCAS tests are not timed; some students might elect to work for 3 hours while others could be done in 45 minutes. The season for MCAS testing begins in late March and ends in early May.

According to the Department of Education, the purpose of the MCAS is to "measure the academic achievement and progress of schools, districts and individual students." It is worth remembering that there are many important things that these tests do not measure: Creativity, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self-awareness, leadership, courage, sense of wonder, sense of beauty, honesty, and integrity. We are careful to focus our efforts on those things for the other 168 days of our school year.

For information about MCAS testing please visit DESE MCAS website.

Standardized test results are reviewed in concert with other measures of pupil performance to describe a student’s strengths. They are never used as a sole source of student information. Classroom teachers are encouraged to use performance observations, writing folders and projects as part of the assessment of student learning.

If a child is absent during parts or the entire standardized test administration, they must participate in a make-up session when they return to school. For questions about make-up sessions, please contact the classroom teacher.

For the most up-to-date information regarding MCAS for Belmont’s schools, please visit BPS MCAS Testing web page.

My Website

Address: 225 Concord Ave.,
Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: (617) 993 - 2000
Attendance: (617) 993 - 2001
FAX: (617) 993 - 2003
Email our Principal:    Russ Kupperstein

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