School Committee Drops Kindergarten Fee ‘Forever’

Photo: Kindergarteners heading to class

With the avalanche of changes and challenges foisted upon the Belmont public schools since March, Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan told the Belmont School Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 2, he finally had some good news to announce, akin to “chocolate chip ice cream [with a] nice hot sauce.”

The $3,500 tuition fee for kindergarten is being dropped.

“This is a great news story,” said Phelan as the committee voted unanimously to approve the district’s recommendation. In fact, the committee approved the motion where the fee is eliminated “for this year and forever.”

Belmont had offered a full-day, fee-based kindergarten program or a cost-free morning program of three hours and fifteen minutes which the state reimbursed parents costs.

For the past four years, the district has been charging its youngest students tuition to attend full-time after the state took away the Kindergarten Expand Grant that supported the all-day program since 1999.

But by making a one-time “investment” of $400,000 this year, the state will reimburse Belmont in subsequent years up to $1.3 million in added Chapter 70 funds, more than the $900,000 the district spends to operate the full time program.

“It’s basically the dollars the state was willing to pay us being used for kindergarten, that we didn’t collect from them because we were charging parents,” said Phelan.

“In the long run … it’s a good story for our families who don’t have to have money be the obstacle and from an equity standpoint, it actually increases the number of families that we think will go into kindergarten this year,” said Phelan.

It wasn’t a surprise that the school committee approved the measure unanimously.

“I mean, who can possibly vote against chocolate chips and nuts and whipped cream?” asked Committee Chair Andrea Prestwich.

Kindergarten Parent Information Night Set For Thursday, Jan. 24

Photo: Kindergarten Parent Information Night.

The Belmont Public Schools is holding its Kindergarten Parent Information Night on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School auditorium located at 95 Washington St. Parking in the school’s lot is off Orchard Street.

(Snow date is Thursday, Jan. 31).

This is a general information night for parents and guardians of students entering kindergarten at Belmont Public Schools in the 2019-2020 school term with the four elementary schools represented; Mary Lee Burbank, Daniel Butler, Roger Wellington, and Winn Brook. Presenting will be Belmont Superintendent John Phelan along with school and central office personnel.

New in March is Kindergarten Central Registration for families with kindergarten students entering in 2019-2020. More details will be presented at Kindergarten Information Night and information is also available on the Belmont Public Schools website .

Please note: Kindergarten Parent Information Night is for adults only.


Online Registration Coming for Incoming Kindergartners; 1-12 Students New to Belmont

Photo: Belmont Public Schools.

The Belmont Public Schools is holding Online Registration beginning on Feb. 8 for the Fall of 2018 for incoming Kindergarten students and Grades 1-12 Families New to Belmont.

After completing this step, parents will be notified via email of the next step in the registration process.

To enter Kindergarten, the child must be five years old on or before Sept. 1 of the year they will attend school. To enter Grade 1, the child must be six years old on or before Sept. 1 of the year they will attend school.

Proof of residency is required.

Kindergarten Parent Information Night for School Year 2018-2019

A general information program for parents of incoming kindergarten students is scheduled as follows. Please go to your district school open house, as the curriculum covered is applicable to all elementary schools.

Please note: Kindergarten Parent Information Night is for Adults Only.

  • Burbank: Thursday, March 29 at 6 p.m.
  • Butler: Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m.
  • Wellington: Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Winn Brook: Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Paper Saver: Belmont Kindergarten Registration Now Just a Click Away

Photo: It’s registration time.

From the beginning of time – probably the 1970s – registering your five-year-old into Belmont kindergarten was both a joyful occasion (the beginning of 13 years of public education) and an odious process in which parents would need to deal with mountains of papers, forms, documentation and subsequent copies to place your child into the school district.

Well, the need to scale Mount Paper is now a thing of the past as the Belmont Public Schools announces its new online registration process for incoming kindergarten students.

Registration for incoming kindergarten students will be initiated online at the following link.

The online registration portion should be completed by March 1. After completing this step, parents will be notified via email of the next steps in the registration process.

Kindergarten Parent Information Night

A general information and orientation program for all parents of incoming kindergarten students is scheduled, as follows.  Each elementary school will host its own program at each school.  

  • Butler School: Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Burbank School: Thursday, March 24  at 6 p.m.
  • Wellington School: Thursday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Winn Brook School: Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m.

In order to qualify for admission to kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2016.  As always, proof of residency is required.