30 October 2020

Butler Family Newsletter October 30, 2020

From the Principal

Dear Families,

Snow today!?!? Well, of course, because the new normal is that every day brings a surprise.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you, profoundly, for how incredibly kind and supportive you have been.  Knowing how much you have to manage, the amount of care, empathy, and understanding you have shown is deeply appreciated.  During these complex and challenging times, we can either lift each other up, or tear each other apart.  I'm so grateful to be a part of a community that chooses the former time and time again.  We are all doing our best, and we are all struggling in our ways.  The degree to which we care for one another is what will matter most in the end.

There is A LOT to read in this newsletter...


Beginning on Monday, our asynchronous specials (Art, Music, PE and Library), will be extended by 15 minutes to end at 1:15 instead of 1 PM each day. Content specialists will not be “talking at” students for forty-five minutes, but will instead be instructing them and providing them with developmentally appropriate, content-specific activities to complete during the forty-five minute block. Students will log back into their classrooms at 1:15.  Our Art Teacher, Ms. Wakeen, and Music Teacher, Ms. Livermore have put together Art and Music kits which have been going home this week!  Remote Families, please check your inboxes for a message from me about resources and support for you, which I sent yesterday.

Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences start next week!  Parent Conferences will be on the following Wednesdays: November 4, 18, and December 2.  On these days, as in usual years, we have early release at 11:45, which is when instruction ends.  Parent Conferences will be conducted via Google Meets.

Curriculum Information

In the place of a traditional curriculum night teachers will be sending out slides that describe the curricula for you to view at your convenience.  Please feel welcome to ask your child's teacher at your conference if you have any questions or need clarification..

Election Day

This Tuesday, November 3rd, is Election Day. Out of an abundance of caution and respect for our voting process there will be no school on that day.  It will be a professional development day for teachers. Please remember to vote!    

Cold Weather

The weather is definitely getting colder.  Please remember to send your children to school with many layers, and with a sweater or jacket.  Windows will be open in the building and we want everyone to feel comfortable. As usual, please label all articles of clothing with your child’s name so we can help lost articles find their way home :).

Snack & Water

Please also remember to send in-person children to school each day with a snack and a water bottle. We eat snack every morning - outside when the weather allows, and inside at our desks (always six feet apart) when we can’t go out.  If your child forgets her/his/their snack, they are able to have the snack provided free of charge by Food Services.  they just need to tell their child's classroom teacher when they arrive in the morning so that the teacher can send a message to the kitchen.  We then have staff bring the order to the classroom.  

From Our School Nurse


With Halloween right around the corner, please remember the many students (and some staff) with life threatening food allergies in our school. Interestingly, candy is the #1 offender of hidden allergens. Please avoid sending candy or chocolate in with your child and remind them not to share or trade any “treats”. This is important not only at Halloween, but at all times to avoid potential illness and food related reactions.

The Belmont Health Department has some great tips to make Halloween safe during this health crisis. For more information, see useful Halloween tips here and Halloween Safety tips here


Please remember to look at the  Daily Symptom Checker each day that your child is scheduled to attend in person school. This is critical in determining if your child is well enough to come to school. Given the current health situation, our illness policy has changed. For more information, please refer to our nursing website here.

Electronic signature of this form is required once, but all families must look at the symptom checker before your child leaves the house each morning.

If you answer YES to any of the questions on the symptom checker:

  1. Please do not send your child to school. 

  2. Be sure to fill out the Butler Student Absence Form which will automatically submit the information to your school nurse. The school nurse will follow up with you to discuss the next steps including a return to school plan for your child. 

  3. You must still call and report your child’s absence per the normal protocol. 

  4. Please consult with your primary care provider for medical advice.

If you answer NO to all questions

1.Your child can report to school 

2. No further action is needed


Masks or face coverings, are one of the most important mitigation tools to prevent transmission of the virus. Masks covering the nose and mouth are to be worn by ALL students, staff, visitors, and vendors. Masks may only be removed for meals and mask breaks. 

Families are asked to provide their child with a mask to wear to school as well as two additional masks for backup.

Minimal requirements for masks:

  • Masks May be made of material such as cotton, but must, at a minimum, be made with 2 layers of material.

  • Gaiters and bandanas are not allowed

  • Masks with one way exhalation valves are not allowed. These masks make it easier to breathe, but also allows air to escape unfiltered, which could increase the risk of spread of the virus.

  • N95 or KN95 masks are not recommended for general use

  • Face Shields are not replacement for masks

Important Mask Reminders

  • Please be sure that your child’s mask is properly fitting before sending them to school covers nose and mouth and no gaping at the sides).

  • Be sure to wash cloth face masks daily after each use.

  • When taking a mask break or removing a mask, be cognizant as to where you place the mask. A used mask should never be placed on a table or desk.  At school, we remind students to place their masks in a paper bag, or in a pocket of their backpack.    

  • ALWAYS wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to clean your hands before and after touching your mask.


As a reminder,  influenza immunization is required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities. The new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and ​the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All students (hybrid and remote) are expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020 for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Please remember to submit evidence of your child’s flu vaccine to Ms. Harteveldt before December 31. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Lisa Harteveldt, BSN, RN



Community News

UNICEF Fundraiser!

The BHS UNICEF Club is proud to be hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest fundraiser called Dress-Up for UNICEF! This town-wide contest is open to ALL AGES and winners will be chosen by Belmont High School’s very own teachers. There will be prizes!!

We encourage everyone to submit their costumes (group costumes and pet costumes are allowed), or at least spread the word about the contest to friends & family! The contest is FREE with an optional donation fee. Here is the link to enter the contest and learn more about it: http://bit.ly/dressupforunicef.


Please email us at unicef.belmont@gmail.com if you have any questions! 

See this link for an informative and fun video about the contest by some of UNICEF's club members!



With warm wishes for good health and peace,



Danielle Betancourt, Principal