Friday, March 4, 2016

LMHS Principal's Report - March 2016

LEE MIDDLE and HIGH SCHOOL
Lee, Massachusetts


Principal’s Report
March 2016

It was a short month, including vacation, so I’d like to use my Principal’s Report this month to ask that you approve the 2016-2017 Program of Studies.  We will be beginning the course selection and scheduling process in early April.  As you may remember, last year we had some major changes to the Program of Studies so I presented the full document to you.  This year, there are no new courses being proposed, but there are other important changes I would like to point out:

·         We will be instituting a two-year cycle for our AP Science classes.  For the 2016-17 school year, we will offer AP Biology and AP Chemistry; in 2017-18 we will offer AP Environmental Science and AP Physics.  The courses will continue to rotate each year thereafter.  In years when the AP course is not offered, we will offer a non-AP version of the same course.

·         We will be phasing in a change to our Health/PE offering.  Currently, freshmen do not take physical education; instead they take health.   We would like to spread health out over two years.  Freshmen would take two quarters of health and two quarters of phys ed; sophomores would do the same.  This allows all of our students to have formal physical activity during all six years that they are at LMHS.  It also provides the benefit of health education being spread out over more than just the 9th grade year.

·         Similar to what we have done very successfully this year with Senior Varsity Sports, where seniors are able to earn their phys ed credit by participating in two athletics teams, we would like to introduce Drama Production.  Students who participate in two drama productions (either in the same year or over two years) will be able to earn 0.5 credit toward their Humanities / Arts graduation requirement.

·         We are proposing the following changes to our minimum graduation requirements.  The current requirements would remain in place for the classes of 2017 and 2018:

SUBJECTS REQUIRED OF ALL STUDENTS

Classes of 2017 & 2018

Class of
2019

Class of 2020+
English
Students are required to earn a credit of English each year, including:  English 9, English 10, English 11 (or AP Language & Composition), and English 12 (or AP Literature & Composition).
4 credits
4 credits
4 credits
Social Studies
This must include a full-year of US History.  Beginning with the Class of 2017, this must also include a half-credit of American Government.
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
Science
Credit values vary if course is lab or non-lab.
3 yearlong courses
3 yearlong courses
3 yearlong courses
Mathematics
All students are required to take and pass a 4th year of math unless they scored proficient or advanced on their 10th grade MCAS math assessment.  All students are strongly encouraged to take a 4th year of math.
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
Health
0.5 credit
0.5 credit
2.0 credits**
Physical Education
1.5 credits
1.5 credits
Technology
1 credit
0.5 credit*
0.5 credit*
Humanities
1 credit
---
---
The Arts
Fine and performing arts, including: all courses listed in “The Arts” section, plus Digital Photography, Graphic Arts, Animation.
---
0.5 credit
0.5 credit
Electives from any subject area
6 credits
7 credits
7 credits
TOTAL REQUIRED MINIMUM CREDITS
23 credits
23 credits
23 credits
                                * Does not include Woodshop
                                                ** 0.5 credit of combined PE/Health in each of 9th and 10th grades; 0.5 credit of PE in each of 11th and 12th grades


In other news, as I write this our drama club is getting ready to present Legally Blonde, on Friday, March 4 at 7pm, and Saturday, March 5 at 2pm and 7pm.  Our girls basketball program has advanced to the Western Mass semifinal game, to be held Monday, March 7 at the Cage; the time has not yet been set.  Also worth noting: the Wildcat Bowling team, which is not officially an LMHS club, has won the Berkshire County championship.  Congratulations all!

Respectfully submitted,

Gregg M. Brighenti
Principal