Friday, January 8, 2016

LMHS Principal's Report - January 2016

Lee, Massachusetts

Principal’s Report
January 2016

                The faculty have been busy preparing for the return of mid-year assessments at the high school level; it has been several years since we have had them.  At the same time, we are implementing a new way of structuring mid-year and final assessments – organizing them by subject, so that all English classes have assessments at the same time, etc.  You can find the details on the LMHS web site.  We’re hoping that this will be a more productive, and less confusing, structure.  At the same time, it takes one less day of assessments than the old model of having them by period.  The mid-year assessment days will be Wednesday, January 20 through Friday, January 22.  The middle school will run a regular full schedule on those days.

                Over the past several months, we have been meeting with Josten’s, the company that provides our graduation “stuff,” to talk about enhancements that can be made to our current diplomas.  One of the items we are looking at is the ability to embed a school seal into the diploma cover.  Working with Josten’s, and researching historical items, we have developed a draft seal for this purpose:

 1851 is the year Lee High School was established; 1837 was the year of the founding of Lee Academy, our predecessor institution; and 2002 is the year in which we  formally became Lee Middle and High School.  The wildcat is self-explanatory; the lamp of knowledge is an ancient symbol representing the search for wisdom and knowledge; and the open book symbolizes education.

We are in the process of getting feedback from the school community on the seal.  Please let me know your thoughts.  Many high schools have these seals as an important part of their “brand” and visual identity.

                There are several items from the world of athletics that I’d like to bring to your attention:

·         We are in the process of appealing our assignment to a higher division for football for next season.  The MIAA football committee placed us in the new Division IV (based upon the combined 9-12 male enrollment of LMHS plus Lenox); our appeal is based on the fact that we receive only 1-4 players from Lenox each year.  Based upon our enrollment only, we are the smallest public high school in the Commonwealth that offers football.   We may be forced to dissolve the co-op arrangement with Lenox to remain in Division IV-A (which is essentially the renamed Division 6).  If we are forced in that direction by the football committee, current Lenox football participants would be grandfathered-in as members of the team until they graduate.  The Lenox administration is aware of this possibility.

·         Also regarding football, the Berkshire County League has been approached by the PVIAC (Pioneer Valley Conference) about possibly merging for football only.  There are many items to consider in making this decision.  Currently the athletic directors of the Berkshire County football schools are meeting with their PVIAC counterparts to discuss details of the possible merger.

·         Signups for boys lacrosse are low for this year.  It is possible that we may have to dissolve the co-op with Lenox.  One scenario is creating a three-way co-op with Monument Mountain and Lenox.  Currently, the athletic directors are talking.  We’ll keep you updated.

The music program held an excellent Winter Concert on Thursday, January 7.  The program included pieces performed by the middle school chorus, high school chorus, both bands, and the jazz band.  The concert ended with the world premiere of a commissioned piece (if you haven’t seen the Eagle article about that, you should!).  Bravo to Joanne Nelson, Pat Feldman, and all of the students involved!

Respectfully submitted,

Gregg M. Brighenti