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Belmont Public Schools News

Superintendent's May 5, 2020 Newsletter

date 5/5/2020

Teacher Appreciation Week is this week and Teacher Appreciation Day is today. The appreciation is never more deeply felt than this year during this pandemic as we engage in remote learning. We miss seeing our teachers every day, and want them to know how much we value them.

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher."
- Japanese Proverb

It is also National Nurses Day on Wednesday. We are grateful to our school nurses for all the work they do. Please see Director of Nursing Mary Beth Rumley's message under Nurses Notes below.

"As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
— Maya Angelou, author, poet, and civil rights activist

NURSES NOTES

BPS School Nurses.jpg Director of Nursing Mary Beth Rumley shares this picture with us and says she is grateful to have such a dedicated and caring team of nurses:

During these unprecedented times, our nurses are working on health care plans, new registrations, reaching out to students and families, updating procedures, and volunteering in the community. We are participating in calls and webinars with national and state organizations in preparation for our safe return in the fall. Soon you will see our updated health pages on the BPS website.

Our nurses want to recognize and thank the Belmont community for doing their part to help flatten the curve. The nurses also want to give a shout-out to the Belmont Health Department for their devotion to our community. We miss all of you, and look forward to seeing you all again. Please know your nurse is just an email away.

GOOD NEWS FROM THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

Student's uncle who is an anesthesiologist.jpg Director of ELL Lindsey Rinder says students are busy at home with projects and writing work. One third-grade student wrote about an uncle who is a doctor who works in a hospital as an anesthesiologist. Our community is made up of many people who know someone or are working in hospitals and essential stores during this pandemic. This student calls the uncle a hero - we do too, and we share our students’ concerns and wish good health to everyone and their families.

THANK YOU VIDEOS FROM STUDENTS

We are seeing great videos from the school community that are brightening our days. Please see a video from Wellington students, and please also see a video from Chenery students that show how much they appreciate and miss their teachers and staff.

BHS STUDENTS VOLUNTEER VIRTUAL MUSIC PROGRAM FOR YOUNG MUSIC STUDENTS

BHS music students are volunteering to mentor younger music students by giving virtual music lessons in response to a few elementary and middle school students who have reached out to BHS music students to request virtual lessons. As some of you may know, the BHS Tri-M Music Honor Society started a music mentorship program last year, which has been offered to 5-6 grade band and orchestra students only. They are extending the program to include Piano and Voice students, as well as younger and older students. Please know this is not for people looking to learn a new instrument nor is it a replacement for any current private lessons.

If interested, please fill out their form and see more information there. If there are parents of younger students who would like more information they should contact the music teacher in their school.

BPS FOOD SERVICES

Please see the Food Services website for Wednesday meal-kit food content, food delivery, drive-through hours, and other information.

PARENTING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS PRE-RECORDED WEBINARS

Reminder BPS in collaboration with McLean Hospital will present during the third week in May a pre-recorded webinar on the topic of managing mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please go to the BPS website for more information on the topic and access to the webinars.

FBE FUN CANDY CAMPAIGN

The Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) kicked off a candy campaign on April 30. Due to the spring fundraiser being cancelled, they have large amounts of candy, even after donating to healthcare workers at Mt. Auburn Hospital. Now, the FBE wants to share this unusual and sweet situation with Belmont Public School students and/or Belmont residents to have them guess the number of pieces in the jar. They will make contactless delivery of the candy jar to the winner's house. Posts are on Thursdays, and the deadline for guessing are Sundays at midnight, winners announced on Monday. Please see all the information on the BPS website.

USEFUL INFORMATION

We have put links in previous newsletters to useful information. We will be placing them here from the various newsletters for your convenience.

Town and State:

Organizations:

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The Superintendent's Newsletter will be coming out on Tuesday and Friday afternoons with a section dedicated to your questions. The newsletter will allow us to stay connected as a district and offer quick updates, information, and school news while we are physically distancing. Your questions can be sent to Newsletter Questions Google doc

BHS Principal Isaac Taylor has started his own FAQ document families can view. They have broken the document down into sections for all students, each grade level, and will update the document as more questions arise.

What plans are in the works for summer school (for students who have had it offered to them)? Is it possible it will go forward as planned in person, or is there a Plan B for online summer school in the works?

We are working on the plans to provide extended school year services to eligible students this summer. These services will be provided in either remotely or in person based on guidance from the state and Belmont's Health Department.

With Kindergarten fees not being returned, how is 1/2 day vs. full-day K currently being managed? Also, how will full-day K (paying students) be differentiated from half-day K students next year in the new model?

Ninety-eight percent of our students opted to pay for full day Kindergarten in 2019-20. The School Committee voted to not reimburse the full-day kindergarten fee under the guiding principle that the service continues to be provided within the constraints of the global pandemic that has forced remote teaching and learning. We are in the process of developing contingency plans for the 2020-21 school year and will update the community as soon as those plans are available.

What are you doing to ensure CMS 8th grade parents get refunds from Carousel Tours for the $1,000's we spent on a Washington D.C. trip that was cancelled?

Chenery Middle School is working closely with our legal counsel and will be updating Grade 8 Parents/Guardians this week about the latest information regarding their negotiations with Carousel Travel, Inc. Please be on the lookout for a letter from Atty. Colby Brunt with many important details.


BPS School Nurses.jpg  Student's uncle who is an anesthesiologist.jpg 



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