Despite what some people may think, not all students in the Belmont school system are top performers.
Whether due to income deficiency, difficulty in learning concepts or being taught in English for the first time, these certain so-called "subgroups" in the Belmont Schools – many in the Chenery Middle School – had not been improving at the level the district had hoped in the past few years.
The result was that Belmont was ranked last year by the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a Level 2 district, as the state would review how certain subgroups were being taught.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, at this school year's first Belmont School Committee meeting at the Chenery Middle School, Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias had some "wonderful news" coming from the state: not only was the district showing positive results in teaching students with a "well-aligned curricula, high quality instruction and high expectations for all students," its educators and staff had succeed in working with those subgroups in meeting their learning goals in the past year resulting recently in the Mass DESE awarded the district and the six Belmont public schools the coveted "Level 1" status.
"We are very proud to report that the performance of the students in the subgroups at the Chenery Middle School also met the target," said Darias, noting that Belmont joins only 90 districts out of approximately 350 total school systems statewide to be at Level 1.
Darias praised the "tremendous focus by educators that should be commended' having worked with the data from previous years to pinpoint where the problems were and develop a range of teaching procedures to reach those students in the subgroups.
"This is the result of hard work by teachers," said Darias.