Chenery Middle School Update - Week of December 12, 2021

December 12, 2021

Dear CMS Community,

We are grateful to have expanded counseling resources at CMS this year. Rising concerns around student mental health as well as the data that has been shared by the Belmont Wellness Coalition continue to demand our attention and resources. As you know, strong mental health and wellness are the gateway to learning. When students struggle with mental health concerns, learning can become challenging. Please see the information below about the roles of our counseling supports at CMS as well as an upcoming date on which the Belmont Wellness Coalition will again present the data found in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

I would also like to draw your attention to the information regarding safety near Belmont center. Belmont Police have expressed concern over the intersection of Common and Leonard streets near the bridge. Please see the details below. 

Finally, This week will be filled with many opportunities to learn, connect, and perform. Please see the upcoming dates chart below for specific information. I hope you can join us for the multiple student performance activities this week. It has been extraordinarily gratifying to see live music and theatrical performances!

Wishing everyone a productive and happy week ahead.

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal


Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, December 13

7:00pm Grade 6 Theater Workshop performance (families only)

Tuesday, December 14

6:00pm Grade 7 Band Concert in the Auditorium

7:30pm 8th Grade Band and Chenery Winds Concert


6:30-7:45pm Family Trivia Night - VIRTUAL Sponsored by Student Council

Wednesday, December 15

Anti-Bullying – Orange Shirt Day Sponsored by Student Council

Upload a Photo

Thursday, December 16

7:00pm CMS & BHS Jazz Ensembles Concert in Auditorium

Thursday, December 23

Ugly Sweater Spirit Day Sponsored by Student Council

Friday, December 24 - Friday December 31

No School - Winter Break 

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




1 Common Street (Belmont Lyons Club)

Since March of 2019, three students have been struck by a car at the intersection near the Lyons Club. This area in question is 3 lanes of traffic (2 lanes Southbound and 1 Lane Northbound) however is not designated for crossing. There are no crosswalks here and vehicles have no expectation that a pedestrian would cross at this dangerous location. There are crosswalks in the vicinity to make safe passage across the roadway.  Expediency can not be used as justification for unsafe behavior.

Designated Crosswalks

  • Intersection of Common Street and School Street/Waverley Street
  • 75 Common Street
  • Royal Road by Common Street
  • 405 Concord Avenue   

Please help us teach young people how to cross roadways safely.

  • Look both ways. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing. Keep your eyes open as you cross and be aware that drivers might not see you even though you can see them. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Cross streets at a crosswalk or intersection. While it may be tempting to cross mid-block, this is where most injuries occur. Using traffic signals and crosswalks where drivers expect pedestrians is much safer, especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Stay alert. There are a lot of distracted drivers on the road, so be aware at all times. Don't allow your vision to be blocked by clothing or hats or yourself to get distracted using your cell phone or headphones. Make eye contact with drivers to have a sense of whether they see you.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.



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.


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.



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.


Hannah Lee, Young Adult Librarian at Belmont Public Library, is visiting the Chenery Library in December to present to Ms Duff's classes. Attached you will see a picture of Hannah with a 5th grade class! Also attached is Hannah's presentation where she highlighted the great resources and programs that are available to students in middle school and into high school. I will be sending this presentation to all teachers at Chenery so all students will have access through Google Classroom. For 5th and 6th grade parents and students, a special Tween section has been created upstairs at BPL for students/readers transitioning towards the young adult years. Check it out! Thanks to Hannah for coming to Chenery! - Karen Duff, Chenery Librarian


Dismissals Before 2PM Please

Each day we have several student dismissal requests for 2:00 PM and after, and oftentimes parents have to wait extra time in order for us to find a student. If at all possible, we ask that you have your student dismissed before 2:00 PM to avoid the end of the day rush.  Also, in all dismissal cases, a call to the attendance line is appreciated, as each student on the dismissal list is looked up before you arrive so we know exactly where to find the student.

Lower School Attendance Line 617-993-5822

Upper School Attendance Line 617-993-5832

Parents, please remind your student to pick up the items you leave for them. We are finding that the office notifies students of items you drop off, but they are not coming to retrieve the items.


WHEN: Monday, November 29 – Tuesday, December 14

Start putting aside NON-EXPIRED items now. All items donated go to the Belmont Food Pantry, whose mission is to provide food and resources to residents of Belmont. The CMS Food Drive has been one of the biggest food drives for the Belmont Food Pantry the past few years. They depend on the generosity of CMS families to make it happen. 


Any nonperishable item – (CHECK DATES – IT CANNOT BE EXPIRED)

Ex. Food: any Canned Foods (Soups, Chili, Stews), Pasta, Rice, Noodles, Juice, Coffee, Tea, Boxed Milk (not refrigerated), Evaporated Milk, Flour, Sugar, Cereal, etc. 

Ex. Household items: Adult Body Wash, Adult Shampoo, Bars of Soap, Deodorant, Dish Detergent, Hand/Body Lotion, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, etc. The Belmont Food Pantry is especially looking for the following items -

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Body Wash
  • Hand/Body Lotion
  • Dish Detergent

See website for additional information: Belmont Food Pantry  https://sites.google.com/site/thebelmontfoodpantry/home


Students can drop off items in homeroom. Students and/or Parents can drop off items in the box outside of the school store and/or various locations around Belmont (see list below). Community Drop Off Locations

  • 31 Bacon Road, Belmont
  • 29 Dalton Road, Belmont
  • 24 long Avenue, Belmont
  • 24 Weber Road, Belmont
  • 259 School Street, Belmont

If you have any questions, please email Mr Dyer at ldyer@belmont.k12.ma.us or Ms Hawkins at chawkins@belmontschools.net




Many of our students are using the Discord App. It has been a chat space where negative interactions are occurring and spilling into the school day. Please CLICK HERE to learn about the App. Click here to learn about the dangers of Discord. 

Click here for an article on understanding TikTok. 

Learn more about how to protect children with settings on Netflix HERE.

How to manage your child’s device remotely, CLICK HERE

How to manage your child’s YouTube account, CLICK HERE.

SmartSocial - Free Parent Event on December 2.

25 Dangers Parents Need To Know About TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Netflix, YouTube & More When: December 2, 2021, at 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern Click here to save your seat.

Can’t attend live on Dec. 2? Register for the event and we’ll send you the replay! Note: This event is not intended for students.


There are several virtual options for students to complete community service. All in person events follow social distancing guidelines and recommendations.  Please check the websites of the organization you may want to volunteer with as some of these opportunities may not be available at this time. CLICK HERE for information.

All questions about these volunteer opportunities should be directed to the Community Service Representative listed as the contact. Students in grades 6-8 who are interested in earning the Presidential Award (President’s Volunteer Service Awards) the hours are: 50-74 = bronze, 75-99 = silver, 100+ = gold

The hours for the Chenery Service Award (Herbies) are 25-49 hours. All community service/volunteer hours can be reported on THIS FORM. Remember to direct all questions regarding deadlines to submit community service hours for awards to your current Social Studies, World Geo, or Civics teacher.


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


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.


Need a refresher on where to find information on Portals? Want to know what our daily announcements are at CMS? Click HERE for a video tutorial on how to navigate our student information system.


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!

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.

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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