Changes Ahead For Minuteman High School As A New School Year Is About To Begin
LEXINGTON --With a new school year beginning in just a few weeks, significant developments are ahead for Minuteman High School, including a district-wide referendum on whether to approve bonding for a new Minuteman school building, as well as the first year of implementing a new career academy model of education which will more closely align students’ academic and technical instruction.
“A big year is ahead,” said Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s Superintendent-Director.
“We’re really excited about the district-wide vote,” said Principal Jack Dillon. “We expect it’s going to pass and expect to serve Minuteman families and students better in a brand new building.” The district-wide vote is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20.
Having a new school facility would certainly have a substantial positive impact, said Superintendent Bouquillon. At the moment, however, he said he is far more excited about instituting the career academy concept at Minuteman. Eighteen Minuteman teachers representing the school’s academic, technical and special education programs collaborated in establishing the groundwork over the past two years. Dr. Bouquillon praised their leadership and diligence.
The career academy is expected to benefit students by providing them with what he called “a more integrated learning environment” that will give them opportunities to reinforce their academic and technical training by using it in practical, real-world situations. For example, engineering students will demonstrate how their projects apply math and communications through the presentation of their senior capstone requirement, or the math teachers will teach math to carpentry students in the carpentry shop or on site at a house construction project.
Dr. Bouquillon expects higher test scores as a result of the career academy, plus higher level competencies across the board. His eventual goal is for Minuteman students to receive their high school diploma and an associate’s degree simultaneously when they graduate, with growing support for “dual enrollment” programs with higher education institutions, he foresees this happening in the next few years. Another anticipated change at Minuteman that is associated with the career academy is the early release of students at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays starting in September to allow teachers to have weekly planning and professional development time.
“It’s great, it’s unprecedented at Minuteman,” said Principal Dillon. “The number one issue we have as educators is the need for common planning time. We’re excited about the potential of what it can provide for us. In the long run, the collaboration on how we can do things better for students will be significant.”
Principal Dillon mentioned that yet another change everyone will notice is the repaved driveway leading to Minuteman from Marrett Road (Route 2A), along with a renovated front entrance. “It looks beautiful,” he said. The entry road has been widened a little to increase the safety of students who are walking, all potholes have been eliminated, and there will be speed bumps to remind drivers to comply with the 10 mile-per- hour speed limit.
The 2016-17 school year at Minuteman begins on Monday, August 29, when freshmen and transfer students arrive for a half day to familiarize themselves with the building and meet their guidance counselors and teachers. On Tuesday, August 30, all students are expected to attend for a full day of school. There is no school on Friday, September 2 and Monday, September 5 to observe the Labor Day holiday.
Dr. Bouquillon said that students who are now in the sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grade should start planning early for the application process at Minuteman because he expects “a more competitive admissions process” in the future. He suggested that middle school students and their families obtain information from Assistant Principal / Director of Admissions George Clement and look into participating in Minuteman’s after-school programs or summer school.
Principal Dillon is reminding parents and guardians that his door is always open to them and they should not hesitate to contact him if their child is having a problem of any kind. “We want to work with them to make sure that every student is successful,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to a great 2016-17 school year.”
Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage. The school serves a diverse student body with multiple learning styles, expanding opportunities for college and career success. As an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), Minuteman challenges all students to aspire to their full potential, accelerate their learning, and achieve success in the 21st-century global community.