Chenery Middle School Update - August 29, 2021

August 29, 2021

Dear CMS Community,

I hope all of our students and families are enjoying the last days of summer as we head into a new school year. I am so excited to see all our students back in the building and starting a fresh year!

We are excited to return to many activities that have been curtailed over the last eighteen months, but we also must ensure safety for all students at Chenery Middle School. While in some ways,  school may look and feel much like school prior to the pandemic, there are health mitigation strategies that must remain in place. I have provided information below to help us all understand how CMS will address the health aspects of school on a daily basis. 

Please take time to review the most recent update from our nursing staff that was emailed last week. A new protocol when addressing positive COVID cases, called Test & Stay, is a new strategy that helps students stay in school if it is determined they are in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID19. If you have questions about health related issues, please contact Director of Nursing Services, Beth Rumley at mrumley@belmont.k12.ma.us, 617-993-5807.

On Friday, August 27, CMS released team information to families along with homeroom, music, and world language selections. You may want to check your “junk” email if you have not seen it. 

As mentioned in our letter to you, placement represents our best effort at creating classes that are well-balanced with groups of children who can work together, educationally, and socially.  Creating balanced classes is no easy task.  It requires a considerable amount of time, energy, and thought by many staff members to consider hundreds of specific requests.  In meetings spread out over months, many factors are considered.  We maintain parent input as a central part of the placement process because it is our combined thinking that ultimately results in class lists that benefit all students.  Now that assignments have been made, they are considered final. Students will access their daily class schedule on the first day of school in their assigned homeroom. 

I will send out more information on the return to school next week that includes new parent drop off routes, entry and exit routines, lunch process, and all the elements that you may be wondering about. In the meantime, please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza


Orientation Tours for Rising Grade 5,  New, and Formerly Remote Students Tomorrow

Please click HERE for detailed information. This is not a mandatory event. If your student is unable to attend, please contact the upper or lower school assistant principal (see below) to connect for more information.


Returning to School at CMS 2021-2022 School Year

As you may have noticed, the FAQ put out by the Central Office contains additional information from the week prior. You can review it HERE. 


Our overarching mandate from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is to have all students in school every day, on our regular schedule, doing most of the activities that school usually entails.  In order to meet this mandate, distancing requirements will need to be relaxed.


However, we have several mitigation strategies we will continue to use including the Belmont Board of Health and BPS School Committee and DESE mask mandate that requires the wearing of masks by all adults and students inside school buildings. Hand washing, sanitizing and cleaning will still remain part of our daily routines. 


Here’s how the information sent out by the Central Office activates at Chenery Middle School.

Classroom Setup

  • Desks will be set up in rows as baseline format. 
  • If a classroom has tables, students will be distanced when possible
  • Teachers have flexibility to gather students in pairs/groups by moving desks or using a rug in conjunction with best practice for learning.

Mask Breaks

  • Teachers must allow mask breaks to any student who requires or requests one. 
  • Teachers have discretion as to how to do this.

Sharing Materials

  • Students and staff may share materials. 
  • Regular washing/sanitizing of hands throughout the day.


  • Students will be allowed to use shared hallways and gym lockers. They are not required to use them. 
  • PE Locker rooms will be for short periods of time at the start and end of PE classes. 


  • We will be using two cafeterias to start the year - the indoor cafeteria and the large tent on the plaza. On bad weather days or when it becomes cold consistently, we will move to one cafeteria indoors.
  • The indoor cafeteria has seating for students at our cafeteria tables. Students will sit in every other stool when indoors. The tent has students in rows facing in the same direction.
  • Students will continue to help in the cleaning process of eating areas prior to going to recess. 
  • For the indoor cafeteria, students must keep masks on at all times except when eating. As we did last year, we will move students along to recess outside in order to minimize unmasked time. 
  • Teams will continue to sit together in a rotation similar to last year.


  • Outdoor recess will occur most days. 
  • Students and staff do NOT have to wear masks when outdoors. They may do so if they wish.

Building Operational Measures

  • Air purifiers in every classroom and office.
  • Daily cleaning throughout the building. 


ENCORE Class Safety Measures

Physical Education

  • PE classes may take place inside with masks or outside without masks.
  • Students will wash/sanitize their hands after using any equipment.


Visual Arts, Engineering, Science Labs

  • Students will wash or sanitize their hands before and after using any shared materials. 
  • Any items that can be cleaned (paint brushes, markers, etc.) can be wiped before/after use. 
  • Since students will remain masked at all times, if there are no additional distancing requirements then we can use the art tables in the classrooms as usual with no plexiglass.


  • Students will remain masked at all times, including while singing. 
  • Students will sanitize hands before/after class, and when using any shared instruments.
  • With no additional distancing requirements, students will be able to utilize the entire music classroom space for movement/dance activities as they have in the past.


  • Students will remain masked at all times, including while singing. 


  • Students will remain masked at all times and sanitize hands regularly.
  • Any shared instruments will be wiped clean before and after use with non-alcohol based wipes that are safe for wooden instruments.


  • Students will be provided with “musician masks,” which allow wind instruments to be played through a flap in the mask.
  • Students will be provided with bell covers for the ends of their instruments.

Middle School and the 1:1 Program

When the pandemic took hold, it became necessary to provide each child at CMS with a device to connect them with our classrooms and teachers. While there were many challenges in this emergency learning situation, we did learn a lot about how the use of technology can be helpful as a teaching, learning, and organizational tool.


 What Will Technology Look Like in Classrooms This Year?

It is important to note that any learning happening in our school is purposeful, meaningful, builds skills and knowledge to prepare students for life. 

  • Technology will be used in some capacity on a daily basis with our students with this in mind. 
  • Teachers and staff look to guide students in how to use technology as a tool for learning as well as how to be good digital citizens. 
  • We do not anticipate students will be on their devices all day, every day. Paper, pencils, art supplies, instruments, sporting equipment, and many other hands-on materials will be utilized each day.
  • Students will see a blend of teaching strategies that seek to meet the learning needs and interests of each child. 
  • Teachers have flexibility and discretion on how to best use technology as a learning tool.

Chromebooks As Learning Devices, Not Entertainment

We encourage students to think of their Chromebooks as a tool for learning and not an entertainment device. Parents can encourage students to avoid device use by having a set time to charge up (in a backpack is helpful for grab and go the next day). Immersing ourselves in other activities are very important to our wellbeing and development. 


As a helpful measure to support students in understanding their devices are for learning, on Friday, September 3rd, Chenery students will no longer have the ability to install Chrome extensions or apps on their district-owned Chromebook, or any other device used in conjunction with their belmontschools.net account. This new restriction is needed in order to limit the number of extensions and apps used by students which are not directly related to their school work. Similarly, any app or extension already installed on a district Chromebook, and not approved by the district, will be automatically disabled. Apps and extensions already approved by the district for student use will not be affected. 


If a student requires an app or extension for their school work, and it is no longer available on their device after September 3rd, please submit a request for review to: studentsupport@belmontschools.net. 


If you have questions about how devices will be used for teaching and learning, contact your child’s teachers or administration. If you have questions about the technical aspects of Chromebooks, please send an e-mail to: studentsupport@belmontschools.net.


Supply Lists

If you are looking for supply lists, please see our website under “Resources” or click THIS link.


How to Sign Up For CMS Email

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


Bus Registration

A reminder to register your child for the bus transportation this year. As you may recall, the roads around CMS were extremely crowded last year due to a large increase in parent drop off/pick up. Please consider bus transportation or walking to school to alleviate congestion and potentially dangerous conditions for our student walkers.


If you require busing and have not yet registered your child, you may inquire by emailing busing@belmont.k12.ma.us. We will continue to register students while seating is available. 


Please note that BPS will not register additional bus students during the period beginning Monday, September 6th through Friday, September 17th. Registration will resume on Monday, September 20th and continue while seating remains available. For additional transportation information, please visit: www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bps/bus-faq or email busing@belmont./k12.ma.us



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.s 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 

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