Chenery Middle School Update - September 6, 2021

September 6, 2021

Dear CMS Community, 

Here we go! We are ready and I know many of you are as well. 

We start this school year with optimism and excitement that our students will have the opportunity to learn, create, explore and grow in ways that may seem more familiar to them pre-pandemic. However, we also must continue to be cautious and adhere to the many mitigation strategies that we know work in keeping us as safe as possible in a still evolving COVID 19 landscape. As you know, wearing a mask is mandatory in all school buildings. We will continue to hand wash, sanitize, clean, as well as distance whenever possible. 

For a Google Screencast video overview of what you can expect at Chenery Middle School on the first days and beyond, CLICK HERE. I will walk you through day to day operations as well as our core values and expectations. To review the slides, CLICK HERE.

Despite the health measures that must be in place, our faculty and staff are excited to see all students in person and begin building classroom communities. Please expect that the first several days of school will be devoted to helping all students feel safe emotionally and physically. It has been a long 18 months of constant change and uncertainty. It is important to set all of our students and faculty up for success by taking time to learn how to be together.

For those families that drop off, walk, or bike to school, please take special note of the change in procedure for drop off. The intersection of Washington, Goden, and Oakley will now be closed during morning drop off. See below for details.

I am personally very excited to start what feels more like school to me. I look forward to your partnership as we get going and get learning!

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza

The 7 Period Schedule for the Year

A reminder that we are using the  7 Period Schedule in place prior to COVID19 or the 2021-22 school year.

Finding Your Student's Homeroom Location

To find out your student's homeroom location you may do so on PlusPortals. Look under "Student" and "Demographics" to find your homeroom. Plusportals will be fully open with student schedules on Wednesday, September 8.

Parent Drop Off Procedure CHANGE!

Last school year, we had far more parent drop off vehicles around the school each morning than in previous years. This created traffic and safety concerns. This summer the CMS administrative team worked with the Belmont Police Department to find a safer route system. 

Most important to note that the intersection of Washington, Goden, and Oakely will be BLOCKED. 

All traffic will be diverted from Washington street to multiple side streets to alleviate some congestion and most importantly, create safer conditions for our students as they navigate crossing streets to get to school. Please be mindful of speed and pay attention to police detail who will help you learn our new system.

PTO 5th Grade Parent Coffee

Friday, September 10th at 8:00 a.m. Under the Big Tent

The Chenery PTO is hosting a 5th grade parent coffee this Friday, and we would love for you to join us for doughnuts and a cup of joe.  The coffee will be held under the big tent behind the school.  If you are driving, please remember to park on the street and not in the back parking lot.  We are happy that you are here with us at Chenery and can't wait to meet you!

~Jenny Kresse and Jess Smith

Chenery PTO Co-Presidents

Food Service Update for 2021-2022 School Year

Wondering what lunch will look like for your child this year? Click HERE for details on menus, distancing, etc.

Important Upcoming Dates

Thursday, September 9

First Day All Students, Early Release 11:00AM

Friday, September 10

8:00-9:00 AM

Grade 5 Parent Coffee in the Big Tent

Friday, September 24


Grade 5 Family Meet & Greet

Wednesday, September 29


Curriculum Night Lower School

Tuesday, October 5

Picture Day

Wednesday, October 6


Curriculum Night Upper School

Monday, October 11

No School

Indigenous Peoples Day


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.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 

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