Chenery Middle School Update for the Week of October 3, 2021

October 3, 2021

Dear CMS Community,

Thank you to the many families who joined us on Wednesday for our Back To School Night. HERE are the slides from my welcome along with information from our PTO. I hope this glimpse into your child’s life of learning was exciting to you. We have an incredibly talented group of educators who work with and care for your children every day. If you would like additional information about a particular class, please do reach out to your child’s teacher. They are happy to help.

It was great to see families at the virtual Coffee with Principal sponsored by PTO on Friday morning. This is a great way for me to listen to concerns, answer questions, and gather feedback that is vital to our school growth and development. Be on the lookout for the email that will provide information on our next virtual coffee. Wonderful also to see grade 5 families and students Friday evening. Thanks to the PTO and Moozy’s for supplying the delicious ice cream sandwiches. It was a lovely night to connect outside under the tent and meet new friends. 

The first few weeks of school have mostly been positive. Despite the continuing challenges of COVID19, we have had wonderful connecting and learning experiences. Unfortunately, we have also seen some disappointing choices on the part of some of our students.

Every day, we talk about our core values at Chenery Middle School - Respect, Responsibility, Ready to Learn. As I mentioned last week, there are some negative social media challenges happening that have come into our schools in Belmont. The September challenge  to vandalize bathrooms occurred at our school. It was very disappointing for our faculty and staff  to experience such negative behavior in our first weeks of school. This was especially true for our custodial staff, who had to clean up after these students and replace destroyed bathroom articles. Please see this link to learn more.

The October TikTok challenge is called “Smack A Staff Member.” Please be aware that many of our students have the TikTok app on their personal devices and are influenced by that content. Any engagement in these challenges, especially those that involve violence and assault, is a serious offense that could result in suspension, expulsion and/or referral to police.  Please see this link to learn more about the challenge and those to come. Please talk to your child about the seriousness of these acts and potential outcomes.

In addition, we have had complaints come to us from local businesses about our students disrespecting space and disrupting businesses. We have had owners of properties on Leonard Street report that a number of middle schoolers are entering office buildings, running through the halls, banging on doors and at times, entering office suites. Some of these offices are mental health providers.  We talk about good citizenship at school and I ask you to join us to talk about how our behaviors toward our neighbors matter. Please be sure you are aware of where your children are after school and monitor their behavior.

Middle school is a time of learning, mistakes, growth and resilience. While we know it is developmentally appropriate that our students struggle with impulsivity and making good choices, we cannot accept any form of destruction or violence. It is challenging enough to educate our children during a pandemic. All of us need to feel safe. Thank you for your partnership and conversations at home that support our shared core values. 

 Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal


Important Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, October 5

Picture Day

Friday, October 8

Breast Cancer Awareness Day - Sponsored by Student Council

Wear pink!

Monday, October 11

No School

Indigenous Peoples Day

Wednesday, October 13

Early Release - Virtual Middle School Parent Conferences 

Wednesday, October 20

Early Release - Virtual Middle School Parent Conferences

Sunday, October 17

First Quarter Progress Reports Released 

Wednesday, October 27

Early Release - Virtual Middle School Parent Conferences 


Picture Day Coming to CMS - October 5

ONLINE ORDERS ARE PREFERRED AND STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.   Please CLICK HERE for ordering information.  No group photos will be taken and all photography will take place outdoors.  

In the event of inclement weather, our photographers will make every effort to photograph the students using a doorway or overhang. Individual print orders will be mailed directly to the home address as provided on your order.   The pre order option will be available until 10/8/21.   If parents do not order by 10/8/21, they will receive a NO BUY of their child with instructions to go online to order.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences - October Through December

Families received an email earlier this week with information on how to register for conferences, 


Congratulations to our XC (cross country) team! First home meet had both our girls and boys team coming in first place! Thanks to Coaches Pizzi, Hall and Morin for getting our team together quickly and getting us running towards the win!

Lower School Karaoke was Thursday and was a BIG hit! We have some enthusiastic and talented singers! Thanks to the Student Council for sponsoring.

Shout out to the CMS Community Service Club for repairing our basketball court. It looks great and is ready for a pick up game!  Thanks to our wonderful PTO for sponsoring.


 After School Opportunities for Students

Please see our website HERE to learn more about school and PTO sponsored clubs and activities. We are still working on final details for some clubs. To register or apply for a fee waiver, print and fill out The Application Form. You may pay the activities fee with a check made out to the Town of Belmont at the CMS main office or online here.

Traffic and Parking Lot Reminders

Thank you to our families as we adjust to our new traffic pattern. We appreciate your support as we try a new way to help our students be and feel safe.Our biking community kindly requests that parents dropping off please not park and block the curb cuts and crosswalks so bikers are able to safely navigate.

Parents are NOT allowed to drop off or pick up their children in our parking lot. This disrupts bus flow and presents a safety risk for students. Please do not PARK in the lot during drop of and pick up. We have very limited spaces which must be available for staff and faculty. Thank you for your help.

Food Service – Lunch Menu Changes and Supply Shortage

The Belmont Food Services Department is asking for your patience and support as we navigate new challenges. As you may be aware, we are currently faced with unprecedented shortages of food and packaging materials, massive delays and/or cancellations of deliveries. Nationwide shortages and delays have affected availability of certain food items, leading to substitutions of menu items we’ve been able to offer regularly in the past. These supply issues are occurring throughout the country and are especially challenging for school systems, due to the quantity of meals we serve and the nutrition standards we follow.

All of this means that we may need to make quick substitutions to our menus based upon what we are able to acquire. We know that this affects students, and we are doing our best to provide updates about menu changes when possible as soon as we identify an issue.

Please know that our number one priority continues to be providing healthy, nutritious, and appetizing meals for your children. We love seeing them every day and appreciate your support and patience as we continue to offer meals at no charge for all students. The good news is that free breakfast (where applicable) and lunch will continue throughout the school year, so please stick with us while we face yet another challenge. Your participation helps our program stay strong, and we look forward to serving you! 

Dustin O’Brien, Food Service Director, Belmont Public Schools

All students will get a photo taken on Picture Day. Whether you plan to order photos or not. The photo is used for the CMS Yearbook, Student Photo ID’s, and School Database. CMS Photo Day is on Tuesday, October 5th.
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.


 BPS Health Protocols

There are updated guidelines and protocols that are important for families to review to understand what happens when a student presents symptoms of COVID, tests positive for COVID, or is determined to be a close contact. Please check the BPS Nursing Page on a regular basis. Details on the Test and Stay protocol can be found HERE.

It is critically important to review and complete a symptom checker (found HERE) if your child is exhibiting any COVID19 symptoms. Please do not send your child to school sick.

There is also information about pool testing. The most effective pool testing occurs when as many students are part of the testing as possible. CMS currently has 43% participation through the parent waiver. Please consider helping us with this important strategy to keep students in school and learning with each other. If your student is signed up for this program and is identified as a close contact of someone in a school-based setting who has Covid, they will be allowed to take part in the test and stay program. If they are NOT signed up for the program, they will have to go home and quarantine as per our Covid health protocols. Click HERE for the Superintendent’s update.

Please encourage your child to bring a water bottle each day. We have filling stations but not access to traditional bubblers.

CMS Student Council

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

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 

CMS News Categories