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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's March 2019 Newsletter

date 3/8/2019

It looks like March is coming in like a lion with the bulk of our winter weather occurring this month. Spring is just around the corner as we turn our clocks forward one hour when Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 a.m. Please look below for news and calendar events.

“All of life is a constant education.” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt, The Wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt


  • Bill Lovallo, Chair of the BHSBC, presented an update on the Belmont High School Building Project to the School Committee at the February 26 meeting. The agenda included floor-by-floor building plan review, phasing solution on site, site plan review, schedule, and the impact of the Ice Rink and Community Path projects. Please go here to see the presentation. As always, you can get updates on the BHSBC and Town websites. Also please see the quarterly update provided by the BHSBC here.
  • The FY20 Draft 1 Budget was presented to the School Committee at the meeting held on February 26, and they expressed their support of it. There are many steps toward final approval. There was a meeting on March 4 where the school and town budgets were presented to a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee and the Warrant Committee. There will be further discussion on the FY20 Budget at upcoming Finance Sub Committee and School Committees, followed by a vote of the School Committee and finally a vote by Town Meeting in the spring. Please go here to view the February 26 presentation to the School Committee, and here to view the FY20 Draft 1 Budget.


  • Food Services Power Packs BPS food services have implemented Power Packs at the elementary level, which are a four-compartment compostable container which includes an on-the-go breakfast or lunch for students. The goal of this is to offer a complete meal in a container that allows students to easily see and consume its contents without waiting for a server to build their meal. Students can easily see their food choice and, therefore, know exactly what they are getting. Director of Food Services Dustin O'Brien says the response has been very positive for this initiative. Thank you to Dustin and the food services staff for this new offering to students.
  • Butler Student Leader Corps organizing Winter Kits Butler Student Leader Corps organized a drive to make "Winter Care Kits". The fourth graders assembled 105 kits, which were then presented to a representative from Boston Health Care for the Homeless at their school assembly in February. Well done Student Leader Corps!
  • Wellington first graders recently had the Acton Discovery Museum visit their classrooms as part of PTO enrichment. Museum members provided a hands-on workshop where students learned about sound and vibration. The students experimented with tuning forks, rubber bands, and other unique sound makers and made their own sound makers with simple household materials.
  • Burbank STEM Night 2019 Burbank had a very successful STEM night on February 13, organized by the PTA. More than 200 children participated in various STEM-related activities (science, technology engineering and math) ranging from coding, magnets, electricity, brain signals, and plant biology to engineering and chemistry. Principal Tricia Clifford says the crowd of students and families is the "largest turn out for STEM Night in recent memory".
  • Winn Brook students and staff celebrated the 100th day of school on February 7 by collecting 100 nonperishable food items or toiletries (per class) for the Belmont Food Pantry. Principal Janet Carey says this was a way to promote their core values of respect, community, and high expectations.
  • Ryan Schmitt Chenery Physical Education Teacher and U.S. Coast Guard Reservist, Ryan Schmitt, began his one-year deployment in February and will spend nine months in Cuba. He had a great Chenery send-off, and was featured in WCVB news. We wish him well, and thank him for his service. Please go here to see the news clip.

  • Chenery grade 8 students participated in a mock Congress in social studies class, organized by teachers Suzanne Zmijewski, Katie Metter, and Natalie Blake-Weber. After discussing the legislative branch and how a bill becomes law, students applied their knowledge by developing ideas for Federal or state laws and introducing them. In committees, students evaluated the bills and conducted hearings, debated, made revisions, and voted on their chosen bill(s).  Any bills that passed through both the House and Senate were sent to Assistant Principal Torrence Lewis, who acted as president, for action where students learned just how difficult it is to override a veto.   The handful of bills that passed through every stage will be forwarded to real life senators and representatives.  The teachers hope that "through this activity, students got to experience both the exhilaration and frustrations of politics and law making as well as the importance of active participation in government."

  • BHS Economic Summit 2019 High School hosted the Chinese-American International Economic Summit on February 2 where 128 students competed in an economics challenge.  The Summit is a day-long interactive simulation, run by Boise State University, that asks students to compete in a wide range of events including quizzes (in personal finance, current events, economics and geography), a debate, and a trade simulation in which students have to negotiate among trade barriers, tariffs and financial limitations to execute a pre-determined  list of imports. The summit at BHS was unique because it is the only one that features mixed teams of students from two different countries; 55 students from Beijing China joined 43 Belmont High School students and 30 Bedford High School students. Students from Belmont and Bedford were on teams that featured two American and two Chinese students. Pre-summit prep was significant, requiring students from Bedford and Belmont to communicate with the students in China for the better part of two months. Prior to the summit the students had to take two different quizzes, create a global proposal and make a proposal to how to improve trade relations between the United States and China.  The event saw students over coming language and cultural barriers to communicate, collaborate, and critically think to execute trade deals.  This event also included a site visit of Belmont High School where the students from China shadowed Belmont students to their classes during a school day. A great event and a huge undertaking well done by Director of Social Studies Deb McDevitt and BHS Social Studies Teacher Josh Streit and all the students who participated.
  • Congratulations to BHS Community Service Coordinator Alice Melnikoff and the entire BHS fundraising team and community who helped BHS become the 2018 High School Challenge Winner in Boston Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. They raised an impressive $15,332. 
  • BHS Marauders for the week of March 5 are Andrew Choy and Brit Ellis. Please go to the BHS website for more information.  


  • Eighteen students participated in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Festival and concert at Symphony Hall held early March. These students, previously accepted to perform in the Northeast Senior District Festival, auditioned in January to earn seats in the All-State Band, Chorus, Orchestra or Jazz Ensemble. 
  • MMEA All-State Concert Hour The BHS Chamber Orchestra performed at the MMEA All-State concert at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston on February 28 - one of only four ensembles selected to perform there. Orchestra Director Margot Reavey says the students did an amazing job and finished to a standing ovation. Congratulations to Ms. Reavey and the students on their performance.
  • The Grade 8 and BHS Orchestras performed at BHS on February 27. Director of Visual and Performing Arts Arto Asadoorian said the crowd enjoyed the concert, and the highlights of the evening were stellar concerto performances by Honor Hickman (flute) and Daniel Kang (violin).
  • Congratulations to the 57 Belmont students in grades 7-9 who were accepted to participate in the MMEA Northeastern Junior District Festival band, chorus, orchestra and jazz ensemble. Please go here for more information.


  • Congratulations to the following BHS Middlesex League Champions; Girls Indoor Track, Boys Basketball, and Girls Basketball. BHS Boys Basketball won the MIAA Div. 2 North Semi-Finals against Gloucester High school on March 5 with junior guard Mac Annus hitting 12 three-point shots, breaking the BHS program record of nine. Girls Basketball won the MIAA Div. 1 North Semi-Finals against Andover High School on March 6. Both teams advance to MIAA North Championship Finals at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA on March 9. Please see below for more details:
    Saturday March 9, 2019 at the Tsongas Arena, Lowell, MA
    BHS Boys Basketball, Start Time 4:15 p.m.
    MIAA Div. 2 North Finals 
    Belmont HS  vs  North Andover HS  
    BHS Girls Basketball, Start Time 6:00 p.m.
    MIAA Div. 1 North Finals 
    Belmont HS  vs  Central Catholic HS   
    Ticket prices are as follows:
    Students & Senior Citizens  $8.00
    Adults $13.00
  • Booster January 2019 Athletes of the Month Megan Tan, Girls Basketball, and Justin Darling, Wrestling Congratulations to the Belmont Boosters January 2019 Athletes of the month Justin Darling, Wrestling, and Megan Tan, Girls Basketball.


Please go here to see the Belmont Public Library March newsletter.


  • BHS Spring Musical Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s Spring Musical Little Shop of Horrors, an off-Broadway hit, and cult-favorite 1980s film, is a fun, goofy and slightly dark musical. The show blends 1960s doo-wop/rock/Motown songs, written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the duo responsible for Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, with musical theater comedy and a spoof of B-movie thrillers. Performances are March 21 & 22 at 7pm and March 23 at 2pm & 7pm In the BHS Auditorium. Tickets are on sale at Champions in Belmont Center and online at http://bhs-pac.org/little-shop-of-horrors.html.
  • FBE Spring 2019 Fundraiser The Foundation for Belmont Education is holding the annual spring fundraiser on March 16 at the Belmont Hill School from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. This is always a great night out. Please go here for more information.
  • BASEC-BPS Fifth Annual Parent Lecture Series The fifth annual Parent Lecture Series brought to you by Belmont After School Enrichment Collaborative (BASEC) and Belmont Public Schools is presenting three lectures on Thriving in a Diverse World: Raising Racially Aware Children. Please go here to get more information on this series.


Below are some events going on through the end of March. Please check school websites and communications for any additional events, information or changes in dates, times and venues.


March 10 - Daylight Savings Time - Spring Forward

March 11 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Grade 6 and 7 Orchestra/Chorus Concert

March 11 - 7:00 p.m. - BHS Room 113 - Belmont Boosters Club Member Meeting

March 12 - 7:00 p.m. - Wellington Community Room - School Committee Meeting (change of venue for this meeting)

March 13 - All Elementary Early Release

March 13, 14, 15 - 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - Kindergarten Central Registration (by appointment only)

March 14 - 6:00 p.m. - BHS Field House - Winter Athletics Awards

March 14 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - Grade 6-8 Band Concert

March 14 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Winn Brook Math Night

March 16 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - BHS Field House - Wellington Winter Carnival

March 16 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. - Belmont Hill School - FBE Spring Fundraiser

March 20 - All Elementary Early Release

March 20 - 7:30 p.m. - BHS Library - PTSO Meeting

March 20 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - CMS Auditorium - BASEC/BPS Fifth Annual Parent Lecture Series; First out of three presents Dr. Adriana Umana-Taylor on Supporting Healthy Ethnic-Racial Identity Development in All Youth: What FAmilies Can Do and Why This is Critical For Student Success

March 21, 22, 23 - 7:00 p.m. (3/23 at 2:00 p.m. and at 7:00 p.m.) - BHS Auditorium - BHS spring musical, Little Shop of Horrors

March 26 - 7:00 p.m. - CMS Community Room - School Committee Meeting

March 27, 29, 30 - Off-Site - Junior District Festival

March 28 - Chenery Multicultural Night


BHS Economic Summit 2019  Food Services Power Packs  Butler Student Leader Corps organizing Winter Kits  Butler Student Leader Corps with Winter Kits  Burbank STEM Night 2019  BHS 2018 High School Challenge Winner  MMEA All-State Concert Hour  BASEC-BPS Fifth Annual Parent Lecture Series  FBE Spring 2019 Fundraiser  BHS Spring Musical  Booster January 2019 Athletes of the Month Megan Tan, Girls Basketball, and Justin Darling, Wrestling  Ryan Schmitt