Chenery Middle School Update - Week of January 9, 2022

January 9, 2022

Dear CMS Community,

It was certainly good to be back in school last week, albeit very challenging from a health and staffing perspective. While we do not know what the next few weeks will bring, we can speculate that it will continue to be challenging. I look for your partnership with taking one day at a time. Due to the snow day, Monday will be a Day 5 in our rotation cycle.

Please be sure to click through the links below to best understand the changing guidelines from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Department of Public Health, and Belmont Public Schools. Of note is changes in contact tracing, isolation periods, and athletics. 

I want to remind families who have students in quarantine about the options available to support learning during that absence. DESE does not allow for virtual learning at this time.

  • Students will be able to make up any missed work with flexibility from teachers upon their return. This policy is the same as in pre-COVID times.
  • Students may follow along with assignments on their Google Classroom pages. Google Classroom is NOT required for all classrooms, but you will find many classrooms do have them.
  • Students may opt for tutoring either during quarantine or in the days following a return to school if families opt to do so. Please see the details below.

As educators we are committed to helping students academically while they are affected by COVID. We are showing all absent students grace and compassion while supporting them with their executive functioning tasks such as planning, chunking work, deciding what is important and not, and taking the opportunity to retake, revise and redo assignments so we may ensure their mastery and positive mindset of their own capabilities. It is important that above all we prioritize students’ social and emotional needs at this time.

I also want to reiterate how CMS continues to respond to COVID. 

Lunch Routines

  • Lunch routines will remain in place with students eating in the cafeteria with a quick dismissal to recess outside.
  • Students may opt to eat outside if they choose. Tables and chairs will be set up on the plaza for those who wish to eat outdoors.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Masking is one of our best mitigation strategies. Please consider sending your child to school with a KN95 mask.
  • Frequent washing and sanitizing of hands. We continue to have hand sanitizer available to students upon entry and in every classroom. 
  • Please keep your child home if he/she/they are experiencing any symptoms at all. Please help us keep school open by keeping sick children home. 

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal


January 10

CMS School Council Meeting 3:30 PM (Virtual)

January 10 - February 10th

ACCESS Testing Begins for ELs

January 10-27 Listening, Reading, and Writing tests for ELs

January 31- February 10 Individual Speaking tests for ELs.

January 11 

TBD Team 8-2 Assembly in Auditorium @ 9:00 (B Block)

January 12

Anti-Bullying – Orange Shirt Day  Upload a Photo

PTO Meeting: BWC Presents Important Data For Students Zoom Link HERE.

January 14

Grade 5 Orchestra/Chorus Concert Live Streamed, 9:00AM

Clones Spirit Day

January 17

NO SCHOOL in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

January 18

CMS Safety Drill 

January 28

CMS Ice Skating Night    7-8pm – Belmont Rink

February Dates

February 1, 8 and 15

Discovery Museum for 6th Grade

May Dates

(5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 6/1)

Discovery Museum for 5th Grade



DESE FAQ for January 6, 2022 - (Quarantine, Eating)

DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22

Superintendent’s Recent Update on Changing Practices for BPS

From the Nurses - Routine COVID Safety Checks - Information about Pool Testing


The Belmont Public Schools offers tutoring to students who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID and not able to attend school. 

  • Tutoring services are delivered virtually for up to 10 days per student
  • Tutoring referrals are made once the need for quarantine is determined.  However, as it takes a few days to process a referral and arrange a tutor, the tutoring may not actually begin until students return to school given the short 5-day quarantine.  In cases like this, the tutoring will focus more on academic support for transitioning back into the classroom vs provision of curriculum/instruction while the student is absent.
  • Tutors coordinate content and materials directly with the classroom teacher

During the initial communication with the school nurse related to quarantine you will be asked about your interest in tutoring for your student.


As we continue to find increases in mental health concerns and challenges, we offer families the opportunity to better understand what is happening with the students at BPS. Please join the CMS PTO at our next meeting on Wednesday, January 12, at 7 PM on Zoom. The Belmont Wellness Coalition will be presenting data highlights from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).  The YRBS is given to students in grades 7 - 12, every two years. Shared highlights include data on rates of substance use, causes of stress, and mental health factors, including information on suicide ideation. Time will be allowed for questions and discussion. Zoom Link HERE.


During the afternoon of January 18, CMS will walk through three safety drills with the support of Belmont Police. We will be reviewing protocols and procedures with staff this week. We will provide an overview for students on Friday of this week. Drills will include Lockdown and Evacuate. I will send more details on these drills in the newsletter next week. Safety drills are necessary to provide students and staff with the tools and strategies available to them in the case of an emergency. These drills can provoke anxiety and concern with some of us. Our plan is to provide a calm but informative approach to responding to emergencies. A few ways to help students understand the necessity of drills includes:

  • Let them know that school is a safe place and that part of the job of teachers and school staff is to practice safety skills. 
  • Make connections to safety habits you already practice. Explain that the lockdown drill is another safety habit just like the many safety habits you do on a regular basis, for example, wearing seatbelts and bike helmets. 
  • Though it may be new to your child, the lockdown drill will be best learned through practicing.
  • Follow your child’s lead. If they seem worried or uncomfortable, help them to identify their feelings and talk with them about ways of handling them. 
  • Let your child know when CMS performs lockdown drills they are announced as a drill.
  • Consider your child’s unique needs. If you are concerned about how your child will handle the lockdown drill, please reach out to the school. From Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers


You do not need to register a grade 1-12 existing Belmont Public Schools student again.

You do need to register your incoming kindergartner even if you are a current Belmont Public Schools family. To ensure placement of your incoming kindergartner at the same elementary school as your grade 1-4 child, please submit all required documents to complete registration for your incoming kindergartner by April 8.

Current Wellington preschool families will be emailed registration instructions.

To enter Kindergarten, the child must be five years old on or before September 1st of the year they will attend school. Please begin your kindergarten registration online as of January 28. If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact the school you registered with.




The Chenery Middle School has developed the following guidelines to ensure that the private school application process runs smoothly for students, teachers, and counselors: CMS Private School Application Overview 2021-2022.  This information can also be found on the CMS website: https://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bps/cms/School-Info/Departments/Guidance.  Please contact your student’s school counselor if you have any questions or need additional support with this process.


We are grateful that our counseling team has grown. In order to provide clarity to families in how to refer a student for academic, emotional, or behavioral support please follow these guidelines. Click HERE for mental health resources for families outside of the school setting.


School Counselor

Carla Hawkins, Grade 5 Ext.5823

Lindsay Culver, Grade 6 Ext. 5834

Robyn Cohen, Grade 7 Ext. 5833

Joe Quinn, Grade 8 Ext. 5824

Your first stop to refer a student for review and support. 

  • School counselors triage need and then may engage administration and/or social workers as needed.
  • Fields concerns from parents and may discover need to refer for additional support.
  • Communicates with students/parents and gathers additional information.
  • Monitors students’ grades, attendance, and reaches out to students and parents with any concerns.
  • Part of the response team if a student requires immediate intensive support.

Social Workers

Paula Lazar, Violet and Key Teams

Mollie Bourne, Lower School

Ashley Peterson, Upper School

  • Support students based on required services in IEPs. 
  • Support students referred to them through school counselors.
  • Counseling links to external counseling supports, DCF, and other community resources. 
  • Part of the response team if a student requires immediate intensive support. 

School Psychologist 

Colleen Leary

  • Meets with students weekly who have counseling listed on their IEP or 504 plan.
  • Triage any students with safety concerns and make next step referrals; communicating with administration, guidance and families.
  • Meets with additional students in need for social/emotional support when space allows either regularly or on an emergency basis.


Click here for CMS Student Council Calendar of Events 21-22


The Chenery Middle School 2021-2022 Yearbook is available for sale! The yearbook is a 150+ page hardcover record of the 2021-22 school year. It will document student life, activities, student portraits, staff photos, events, grade eight farewell ads, and much more. The yearbooks will be given out to students during homeroom before the end of the school year (no later than June 17, 2022).

Start by clicking this link for the 2021-2022 CMS YEARBOOK

After clicking the link above, you’ll be able to -

  • Order a Yearbook - $25.Deadline to order - March 31, 2022
  • Order a Grade 8 Farewell Ad - Full Page - $75, 1/2 Page - $50, 1/4 Page - $40 You design and layout on the Jostens Yearbook website. Yearbook theme (colors and formatting) will be applied to your design. Examples of Grade 8 Farewell Ads Deadline to order - February 4, 2022

Upload Yearbook Photos

  • The Photo Upload Portal is the place to upload any and all photos for the 2021-2022 yearbook.
  • Deadline to upload photos - March 31, 2022
  • Please consider uploading any photos you have. Photos you took at a game, celebration, outing, concert, dance, CMS Staff photos, out of school, groups, event, trip, etc.

Don’t delay, order a yearbook today!

Cheetah Spot

Does your child ride a school bus or can’t make it to the store when it is open? If so, they can pick up a green order form outside of the school store and follow the directions on the form. Students can use the order form to place and receive an order so they don’t miss the bus.

How to Sign Up For CMS Email

To receive the communications sent out on the Chenery Middle School listserv, click HERE.

Helpful District and School Documents


Principal Karla Koza



Please contact me in any of the ways below.

Chenery Middle School
95 Washington Street
Belmont, MA 02748




Lower School (5 & 6) Assistant Principal Nicolette Foundas email: nfoundas@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5820

Upper School (7 & 8) Assistant Principal Mark DiStefano email: mdistefano@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5831

ENCORE & Student Programming Assistant Principal Ryan Holland email: rholland@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5801

Lisa Hurtubise, ELA Reading Director email: lhurtubise@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617 993-5945

Elizabeth Baker, Director of Science email: ebaker@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5970

Jonathan Golden, Director of Mathematics email: jgolden@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5805

Deborah McDevitt, Director of Social Studies email: DMcDevitt@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5980

Vicky D'Annunzio, Interim Director of World Language email: vdunnuzio@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5950

Arto Asadoorian, Director of Fine and Performing Arts email: aasadoorian@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-5990

Lindsey Rinder, Director of English Language Education email: lrinder@belmont.k12.ma.us and voice mail: 617-993-1044

Jonathan Libby, Assistant Director of Student Services email: jlibby@belmont.k12.ma.us

Rosa Inniss, METCO Director email: rinniss@belmont.k12.ma.us