Chenery Middle School Update - Week of January 23, 2022

January 23, 2022

Dear CMS Community,

I hope you have enjoyed your weekend.

This Wednesday we will have the first of four Community Days at Chenery Middle School. The mission of these days is to help our students connect and find common ground. This is just one way in which we are working towards helping our students understand the importance of diversity, the damaging nature of hateful words and acts, and empowering students to create and sustain a connected and kind school community. We are particularly pleased with and proud of our 8th grade leaders who will work with our lower school students on this work. They have dedicated a lot of time, effort and thought into leading the way in creating the community day activities. 

Another exciting new opportunity for students to be active participants in building a better school community is the IDEA club which will begin this week. The I.D.E.A. Club is a new club for Chenery students in grades 5-8. I.D.E.A. stands for inclusion, diversity, engagement, and action. This club is for students who are looking for a space to talk about social justice issues affecting the CMS community & beyond and meet others who have similar interests. This club is a place for students to speak about their experiences with other students who will listen with understanding and empathy. We are grateful to Mr. Niles and Ms. Kaushik for advising this club. It will have a first meeting this Thursday from 2:30-3:00pm in Room 235.

Last, Quarter 2 grades close this Friday, January 28 with report cards released on February 14. There have been many students with extended absences during this quarter. We feel it is important to provide students with some grace and latitude to complete assignments. Our focus is to continue to build necessary skills and move students in a positive direction of learning and growth. Please note that if your child has had an extended absence, his/her/their grade may be based on limited data. Please reach out to your child's teacher with any questions. 

I wish everyone a happy and healthy week ahead.

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal


January 26

Community Day #1 

January 27

Virtual Coffee with the Principal, 8-9am Sponsored by PTO

January 28

Quarter 2 Grades Close

CMS Ice Skating Night    7-8pm – Belmont Rink

February 3

McLean Parent Workshop - Supporting Students Through Stress 7:00PM

Virtual Meeting Link Here: https://partners.zoom.us/j/87111429404

February 14 

Report Cards for Quarter 2 Released

February 1, 8 and 15

Discovery Museum for 6th Grade

February 15

5th & 6th Grade Band Concerts:

5th Grade concert time is 6pm (students arrive at 5:15pm)

6th Grade concert time is 7:15pm (students arrive at 6:45pm)

May 4, 11, 18, June 1

Discovery Museum for 5th Grade


In February, a google form will be sent to all families through which parents can indicate their child’s music selection for the 2022-23 school year. Please have a conversation with your child in the coming weeks about what they would like their music selection to be next year. Incoming 6th, 7th, & 8th graders may continue with the ensemble class they enrolled in currently. If they do not wish to continue with an ensemble class, incoming 6th, 7th & 8th graders may choose Music Exploration & Newshour instead. More details to come. Please reach out to Ryan Holland, Assistant Principal of Encore and Student Programming if you have any questions: rholland@belmont.k12.ma.us.


February 3rd from 7:00-8:00PM - Link to join Webinar https://partners.zoom.us/j/87111429404

Our students are going through a lot. Mental health challenges are on the rise. Please join this CMS/BHS co-sponsored event to learn how to best support our children. For parents of students in grades 7-12, this webinar will focus on increasing our understanding of the challenges facing students today and spotlight strategies parents and caregivers can use to support students in navigating stress while living full and rewarding lives. Specifically, this webinar will cover interventions to build resilience and address stress reactions in students. We will discuss approaches to improve communication and understanding, promote resilience, and coach youth through big emotions and stressors. Attention to how COVID-19 and current societal stressors play a role will be addressed throughout. 

There will be a Q&A portion at the end of the webinar. Please use this google form to provide your questions in advance. We will work to answer as many questions as possible. Please note, McLean consultants will not provide direct clinical recommendations.


Initiated in 2019, this event features Asian pioneers in science, politics, research, literature, activism, and more who will share their experiences with the Belmont community through a short presentation and Q&A session. Our event aims to

  • Enhance recognition of a student's cultural roots and identity: this does not only include Asian American students, but all students from different racial backgrounds can learn about self-discovery on their own identity.
  • Display the impact of Asians in the fields of science and technology, social sciences and humanities, public service, activism, and arouse student interest in fields.
  • Inspire students to take their responsibilities on their communities and to pursue excellence, innovation and leadership.
  • Build potential connections between BHS students and the speaker’s community.

This year, our event features author Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Georgia Tech assistant professor Srijan Kumar, and Hmong-American University of Wisconsin-Madison pHD student Kao Lee Yang. For more information about our speakers and event, please see this information document linked here.

The event will be taking place on Thursday, 1/27/21 at 3:00 PM EST in the Black Box theater at Belmont High School. This event is free and open to the public. Although audience members will be in the theater, the speakers will be speaking to us through a projected video conference and not in person due to Covid and travel complications.


Belmont students win 2021 NASA Space Apps Challenge Award

A regional team of four students - three of them from Belmont schools - won first place in the Arts and Technology category, described as solutions combining technical and creative skills. The Belmont students are fifth grader Yuto Yashiro from Chenery Middle School, and siblings Takeshi and Misaki Tatsumi from Belmont High School (ninth grade and 11th grade, respectively). The fourth student on the winning team is Hanna Suzuki, a sixth grader at John Glenn Middle School in Bedford. The team, named 'Jimmy in the Box,' is one of just 10 winning teams out of more than 4,500 groups that took part in the contest. The 2021 NASA Space Apps Challenge involved more than 28,000 registrants from 162 countries and territories around the world. Click HERE for more information. 

Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance to host Community Zoom Get Together

Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance will be holding a Community Zoom Get Together on Tuesday, February 15th at 7:30 pm.  The Alliance, a part of Belmont Against Racism, has been working since 2001 to make Belmont a more equitable and inclusive place where everyone can thrive.  This second Zoom Get Together will focus on connecting people, sharing experiences in Belmont, and discussing what more needs to be done to raise the visibility of and address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.  Everyone is welcome. Interested individuals should contact Fran Yuan at belmontlgbtqalliance@gmail.com for the Zoom Link.



As the pandemic continues to evolve, so too does the guidance and protocols for our schools. The Belmont School Committee discussed this updated guidance at our most recent meeting on January 11, 2022. Please see the Superintendent’s recent email to families HERE.

Please refer to the following link for a quick reference: POSITIVE COVID TEST - updated BPS isolation guidance

DESE FAQ for January 6, 2022 - (Quarantine, Eating)

DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22

Superintendent’s Recent Update on Changing Practices for BPS

From the Nurses - Routine COVID Safety Checks - Information about Pool Testing


The Belmont Public Schools offers tutoring to students who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID and not able to attend school. 

  • Tutoring services are delivered virtually for up to 10 days per student
  • Tutoring referrals are made once the need for quarantine is determined.  However, as it takes a few days to process a referral and arrange a tutor, the tutoring may not actually begin until students return to school given the short 5-day quarantine.  In cases like this, the tutoring will focus more on academic support for transitioning back into the classroom vs provision of curriculum/instruction while the student is absent.
  • Tutors coordinate content and materials directly with the classroom teacher

During the initial communication with the school nurse related to quarantine you will be asked about your interest in tutoring for your student.


You do not need to register a grade 1-12 existing Belmont Public Schools student again.

You do need to register your incoming kindergartner even if you are a current Belmont Public Schools family. To ensure placement of your incoming kindergartner at the same elementary school as your grade 1-4 child, please submit all required documents to complete registration for your incoming kindergartner by April 8.

Current Wellington preschool families will be emailed registration instructions.

To enter Kindergarten, the child must be five years old on or before September 1st of the year they will attend school. Please begin your kindergarten registration online as of January 28. If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact the school you registered with.


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.


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. Click HERE for mental health resources for families outside of the school setting.


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.


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 

CMS News Categories