Chenery Middle School Update - Week of October 17, 2021

October 17, 2021

Dear CMS Community,

As you may be aware, last week a student reported to a teacher that a small swastika was faintly carved into a stall wall in the 6th grade boys bathroom. On Wednesday, we took some time to reflect and better understand the swastika and how this symbol is hateful to Jews and has been used to represent hate in general. We as a community need to “take back our walls” and not allow hate of any kind to be part of our community. THIS is the slide presentation all students viewed with classroom teachers. Some powerful discussions were generated and students responded to the questions you will find in the slides. Unfortunately, negative graffiti continues to be a problem in our bathrooms and would appreciate your help by having a conversation around how words and symbols can hurt, and that defacing property is wrong and does not benefit our community.

Despite a small number of our students choosing poorly, most of our students come to school each day with positive attitudes, excitement to learn, and happy to make connections with peers and adults. It is important to have this perspective, even when our community struggles with some challenges. School is buzzing with great energy every day.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead. Fall is here and it’s beautiful!

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, October 18

First Quarter Progress Reports Released

Wednesday, October 20

Virtual Middle School Parent Conferences Early Release (11:00AM)


Unity Day – Wear Orange Shirt and Upload a Photo

Thursday, October 21

Student Council Town Hall - VIRTUAL

6:30-7:15pm  CLICK TO SIGN UP

Friday, October 22

Student Council Sponsored Pumpkin Carving & Halloween Costume Competition

DEADLINE November 3rd

Wednesday, October 27

Virtual Middle School Parent Conferences Early Release (11:00AM)

Monday, November 1st

Picture Day Rescheduled




We continue to experience a shortage of professional aides, building substitutes and cafeteria staff. This impacts students directly in meeting educational needs, having needed support in large classes, having to pull professional aides to cover classes when teachers are absent, and students needing to wait longer to get lunch. If you or someone you know is interested in working in our school I encourage you to apply. CLICK HERE to learn more. 


Student Council members design and create a display of student responses to “Take Back Our Walls.” 





As we turn the calendar to October, it is time to put together our School Improvement Council. The council is co-chaired by the principal and a parent. Meetings will begin in November and will be held the 2nd Monday of each month from 3:30-4:30pm.  The council consists  of administration, 2 parents,  2 upper school students, 2 educators and 1 community member not directly related to the school.  The goal of this group is to create a school improvement plan for the 2022-2023 school year.  If you are interested in joining, please complete this form by Friday, October 22nd.. Depending on parent  interest, the PTO  may need to hold an election for the positions.


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



Student Search Concerns

We have an automated system that identifies potentially concerning searches. Terms pulled often include the words “suicide,” “kill,” “guns,” “porn” and expletives. Our assistant principals receive these reports and email parents to make them aware of the concerning searches. They also speak with students to best understand the motivation for the searches. Often, the results are harmless, however, we want to ensure parents are aware and provide you with the opportunity to speak with your children. Please reach out to any assistant principal if you have any questions about this.

Negative Impacts of Social Media

As we learn more about social media platforms, we are learning about the negative impacts. Smart Social is a resource families can use to get information about social media and tips on how to navigate the online world with children. Please click HERE to learn more or sign up for email newsletters on the topic. Click HERE to read The Negative Impact of TikTok on Teens


2021-2022 Private School Application Process

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.

 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..

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

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.

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 

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