Chenery Middle School Update - January 2, 2022

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January 2, 2022

Dear CMS Community,

Happy New Year and here we go ready to start school again in January 2022!

As we return to school, it feels a bit like January 2021 with a surge of cases and strategizing how to respond including understanding and implementing new guidelines from the CDC and DESE related to shortened quarantine timeframes. However, as I have reminded myself, we are in a far different position with a large number of our staff and students vaccinated. Our mitigation strategies have been very successful. There will be an uptick in cases, but we are poised to respond.

I am grateful we will return to school on Monday, but we will do so with caution as we better understand the positivity rates of students and staff. A few important notes as we return to school this week:

1-Hour Delay on Monday, January 3

First bell for students is 8:55am. Please see our delayed opening schedule linked HERE:

As Superintendent Phelan stated, this extra hour will give the district time to provide all staff with the KN95 masks provided by the state and update them on the new COVID-19 guidelines. The voluntary tests for staff from the state have arrived and we have had many staff members retrieve them today and more will test first thing in the morning tomorrow. This unknown issue of how many staff may test positive and cannot be in school presents an unusual challenge that we hope this one hour will help us to sort out quickly. Our nurses also need this time to review emails from families with health questions. 

NO Morning & Afternoon Activities for Monday & Tuesday 

  • NO morning academic recovery programming.
  • NO or after school activities, sports, or clubs.
  • BASEC programming will STILL run this week. Please look for communication from BASEC.

We will assess and then provide information on these activities for Wednesday through Friday.

Lunch Routines

  • Lunch routines will remain in place with students eating in the cafeteria with a quick dismissal to recess outside. 
  • Students may opt to eat outside if they choose. Tables and chairs will be set up on the plaza for those who wish to eat outdoors.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Masking is one of our best mitigation strategies. Please consider sending your child to school with a KN95 mask. Please remind your child how to wear a mask. It must be tight fitting and over both the mouth and nose. This is a non-negotiable expectation.
  • Frequent washing and sanitizing of hands. We continue to have hand sanitizer available to students upon entry and in every classroom. 
  • Please keep your child home if he/she/they are experiencing any symptoms at all. Please help us keep school open by keeping sick children home. 

I ask for your support and patience as we enter yet another January with surging COVID cases. I am hopeful we will quickly understand the landscape and bounce back to school as usual.

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal

Important Upcoming Dates

January 3

1 Hour Delay

School Starts at 8:55AM for Students

January 10

CMS School Council Meeting 3:30 PM

January 12

Anti-Bullying – Orange Shirt Day  Upload a Photo

January 10 - February 10th

ACCESS Testing Begins

January 10-27 Listening, Reading, and Writing tests for ELs

January 31- February 10 Individual Speaking tests for ELs.

January 14

Clones Spirit Day

January 17

NO SCHOOL in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

January 28

CMS Ice Skating Night    7-8pm – Belmont Rink

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



We have seen an increase in students not following our “off and away” policy on cell phones during the school day. What this means is that student phones must be powered OFF and not visible at any time. Students are NOT allowed to use their phones for any reason during the school day. There is no academic reason for students to use their phones at any time during learning time, hallways, bathrooms, or at recess. If a parent needs to reach a student or a student needs to reach a parent, they can do so at the main office when needed. 

If a student decides to break the rules, the phone may be taken and stored in the classroom or office until the end of the period or school day. Please remind your child of this simple expectation.


As a culminating service project for their Refugee literature unit, 8th graders collected household donations and gift cards for refugees who are being resettled in the Boston area. The Chenery PTO generously delivered the goods to the International Institute of New England’s Boston office and they will distribute the goods to families in need. Thank you to our PTO and Grade 8 ELA teachers for spearheading and managing this work.


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.


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.


The Foreign Immersion Program (FIP) facilitates foreign language tutoring for novice youth students. FIP's primary mission is to expand the Belmont youth's understanding of languages and cultures different from their own. Experienced high school students (mentors) volunteer their time to tutor a younger learner in their community in exchange for community service hours. Mentors and mentees work together weekly one-on-one in a virtual capacity. Mentors craft their own interactive lesson plans each week that include playing games, watching educational videos, listening to songs, reading stories together, and more. We accept mentees aged approximately six through fourteen. Please fill out this form if you are an elementary or middle school student wishing to be mentored in a foreign language: https://forms.gle/Wu4S2oU6BFjLTA6u8 




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. 


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.


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


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!

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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