Wednesday, November 21, 2012
More than a third of all High School student drink once a month, 60 percent of seniors.
A comprehensive survey of Belmont Upper Middle School and High School students reveals that alcohol remains a significant problem especially among upper classmen while the number of serious suicide attempts have risen sharply at the middle school in the past two years. The results of the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey – taken by 95 percent of students in the 7th and 8th grade at the Chenery Middle School and 84 percent at Belmont High School – was released to the public by the Belmont School Department at the meeting of the town's School Committee Tuesday, Nov. 20. In the report, more than 56 percent of high school senior girls and 61 percent of senior boys reported having at least one drink at one sitting in the past month, while more …
Friday, November 2, 2012
"Interim" superintendent would stay additional year, continuing stability in system.
In a move that will come as a pleasant surprise to many in the Belmont education sphere, the Belmont School Committee voted unanimously to enter into negotiations with "interim" Belmont Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston to extend the veteran educators contract with the town for an additional year. If contract negotiations are successful, the former Chelsea School Superintendent will continue as head of the 4,000 student Belmont district until June 30, 2014. In March the School Committee voted to extend Kingston's contract to June of 2013 after determining it was not prepared to marshal the effort to secure a new superintendent by that date. "Discussions I've had with other people in the community identified Dr. Kingston as a very …
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Still yet vetted, plan on relocating pool could free incinerator to be sold, adding a vital playing field for school and town and freeing land for a new town library.
It all began when Department of Public Works Director Peter Castinino attended the annual Town Meeting two months ago. There are so many capital needs in town, he said. Maybe there is a way to solve a few all at once. After attending a meeting concerning the proposed town library and talking with those running the newly created Community Preservation Committee, he took a walk to the Underwood Playground and looked over the historic municipal pool. In mid-June, he brought Board of Selectmen Chairman Mark Paolillo to the same small bluff where they could see the 100-year-old pool, the Belmont Public Library and the Belmont High School playing fields across Concord Avenue in a single view. By relocating the historic Underwood Pool nearly 25 …
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
All members represented by the Belmont Education Association now under contract.
An tentative agreement was hammered out this week between the Belmont School Committee and approximately 100 teacher aides, corridor monitors and instructional support staff who have working without a contract for the past year. According to Laurie Graham, chairwoman of the Belmont School Committee, representatives of the Boston Education Association – the union representing the district's teachers and aides – and the School Committee came to a settlement with the assistance of a state mediator. The agreement in principal will be voted by the Unit D members in September. It will then be sent back to the School Committee for final approval. "We all appreciate ... a successful end to the school year" in which all members of the BEA are …
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Calls comments by union boss "a serious breach of bargaining protocol."
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Dear Staff: The Belmont School Committee would like to address a serious issue that has arisen in the recent weeks. Since the fall of 2011, the Committee and Unit D of the Belmont Education Association (representing Professional Aides, Tutors, and Classroom Assistants, among others) have been negotiating a successor collective bargaining agreement. After months of negotiations did not yield an agreement, the Committee sought and received the assistance of a state mediator in accordance with the provisions of the public sector bargaining law. Mediation is a confidential process. On May 21, the parties met with the mediator. At the end of a five-hour session, the Committee’s representatives left believing that with the mediator’s help a deal…
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
In support of para-professionals who are working without a contract for a year.
You will usually find Bethany Fitzsimmons in a second-grade classroom at the Winn Brook Elementary School working one-on-one with students with special needs. "I love my work," said the Watertown resident who has spent more than a decade working in the Belmont School District. On Tuesday afternoon, June 5, Fitzsimmons was not in the classroom but standing with supporters of the 100 teacher aides, corridor monitors and instructional support staff – "the glue that keeps the system together," said Robert Antonellis, president of the union resenting Belmont's educators – who were placing a spotlight on their long-standing grievance. "We only want to have them to sign a contract but right now the School Committee has its feet in the sand," said…
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Placing lacrosse field at Concord Avenue location looking like solution to field access.
While the former town incinerator and the proposed new Belmont Public Library are both located on Concord Avenue – albeit two-and-a-half miles from each other – it would appear at first glance that the development paths for each are mutually exclusive. One is the physical capping of a landfill – Belmont's Town Meeting voted Tuesday, May 29, to spend $825,000 to begin that process – while the other will be a state-of-the-art town building for media and books. But the future of these significant Belmont public projects appear ready to be linked as town, library and school officials begin hammering out a deal that could secure each a successful transition from blueprints to reality. And that decision will likely be made as soon as mid-June …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Initiative to place solar panels to school roofs will miss summer construction season.
The first day of school in Belmont this coming September will have happy parents, anxious students and eager teachers. What the day won't have was the anticipated array of solar panels on each school roof to help power the district's half-dozen buildings. The announcement that the year-long push to bring green technology to Belmont schools will miss the opening of the school year "hurts me to my soul," said Roger Colton who updated the Belmont School Committee at its Tuesday night, May 8, meeting. The co-chairman of the Belmont Energy Committee, which was the chief driver of the Belmont Solar Initiative to install photovoltaic panels on school buildings, said that while the process is behind schedule, it was "not dramatically so." The plan…
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Newly-elected School Committee member recognizes residents for their vote.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
To the Town of Belmont, It is such a humbling honor to be elected in a contested race for School Committee. I learned a great deal through the process of campaigning, and I had the great pleasure of meeting many of you. As you all know, one does not get elected alone, but by the efforts and support of many people. I humbly thank every person who met with me and shared their advice and their account of Belmont History with me. I thank every person who held a sign, hosted one on their lawn, said a good thing about me, made a donation, wrote a letter of endorsement on my behalf, passed out flyers, or graciously hosted a coffee so I could meet more of our neighbors and learn the concerns of our town. I thank every person who actively worked…
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Selectmen, School Committee OK's $43 million budget,
The Belmont Board of Selectmen and School Committee gave their "thumbs up" to next fiscal year's School District budget, an increase of nearly one-and-a-half million dollars from last year's allocation. The fiscal 2013 budget – the first under the leadership of interim School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston – now tops the $43 million plateau at $43,068,492, an increase of 3.6 percent from the fiscal '12 budget of $41,583,768. The budget does not include approximately $200,000 the school department expects in Special Education expense increases in the coming year. That amount is expected to be paid from a new $250,000 Special Education Stabilization Fund to be created by a two-thirds vote of representatives at a special Town Meeting …