Chenery Middle School Update - Week of January 30, 2022

January 30 , 2022

Dear CMS Community,

Well, that was a snowstorm! I hope many of our students enjoyed being outside on Sunday. 

Monday marks the first day of Quarter 3. Each student has had an individual journey returning to full in-person learning this year. Some have found quick success, for many others, it has been a struggle. As we embark on a new marking quarter, I urge all families to communicate with teachers. Many students have experienced challenges reengaging with in-person learning, the uptick in pacing, and the academic and emotional demands of school. We are far from done with the pandemic and the lasting effects for children everywhere. While all of us are more than ready to put the pandemic and all the negative impacts behind us, it is a slow path to recovery and normalcy. Our teachers have extended grace to our students in order that they might regain traction in all areas of school and not feel defeated. I urge all of us to do the same for the children and ourselves knowing that we will climb out of this and emerge with new wisdom about what is most important for our children.

In keeping with that idea, I invite any parent of a grade 7-12 child to join me and Principal Taylor from BHS as we offer a live webinar with McLean Hospital consultants: Supporting Students through Stress. This Thursday, February 3 at 7:00PM. Please see information below regarding the meeting link to join as well as an opportunity to ask questions in advance of the webinar.

I wish everyone a meaningful week ahead.

Best Regards,

Karla B. Koza, Principal


January 31

Start of Quarter 3 (Term Dates Here)

February 3

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

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

February 10

Trivia Night - VIRTUAL 6:30-7:30pm (Sponsored by Student Council)

February 14

Q2 Grades Released

CMS School Council 3:30-4:30 LCR

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)

February 16

Anti-Bullying – Orange Shirt Day Upload a Photo HERE

Community Day #2

February 18

College Spirit Day Upload a Photo HERE

CMS Snow Photo Competition DEADLINE March 5th Upload a Photo HERE

February Dates

February 1, 8 and 15

Discovery Museum for 6th Grade

February 21-25

February Break

March 8 

8th Grade NAEP Testing (Info to come)

April 25 

Grade 7, Blocks A (7-1), C, (7-3) D (7-2)

May Dates

(5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 6/1)

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.


Parents and Principal Koza met last week for a virtual coffee. One topic of concern is the use of technology at school and at home. While we continue to grow our capacity on purposeful and meaningful use of technology at school, some parents wonder how to better curb non-essential tech use at home. Here are a few resources that may help as you work with your child.

What's the right age to get my kid a phone?

Parents' Ultimate Guide to Discord

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.


Mentor Match is a free academic mentoring program hosted by Belmont Public Library for students in grades 6-10. Students are paired with a volunteer mentor from BHS to help them once a week for one hour either in a virtual session or in-person and masked at the library. Each match lasts for as long as the mentor's schedule allows and they are welcome to explore any subject their mentor feels comfortable with. Students or their parents can register here: https://belmontpubliclibrary.net/2021/08/03/mentor-match/  If you are a student who is interested in becoming a volunteer mentor, please complete a Tutor Profile here: https://forms.gle/JbkhLdbzt91DnEnC6 


CMS Community Day #1

We had our first community day block on Wednesday. Students spent time getting to know each other in small groups and finding common ground. We are particularly proud of our 8th grade leaders who did this work with our grade 5 and 6 students. Enjoy a few photos below from that day.






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.


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 

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