Belmont High School (Belmont, Massachusetts)


Belmont High School (Belmont, Massachusetts)

Infobox Secondary school
name = Belmont High School

established = 1865 (OS) [ [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/info.html Belmont High School website] , "belmont.ki12.ma.us/bhs/info.html", accessed 2007.] , 1970 (NS)
city = Belmont
state = Massachusetts
country = USA
campus = Suburban
type = Public
principal = Michael Harvey
faculty =
enrollment = 1156 (2007)
grades = 9-12
address = 221 Concord Avenue
mascot = Marauder
colors = Maroon color box|#990000 and Blue color box|#0000FF
newspaper = [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/highpoint/ Highpoint]
website = http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs|

Belmont High School in Belmont, Massachusetts was built in 1970 at a cost of $9 million. The school had 1,170 students enrolled and a student/teacher ratio of 16.1 in the 2004-05 school year. [Belmont Historical Society, "Belmont Then & Now", Arcadia Publishing, 2004.] [ [http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/home.asp?mode=so&so=133-6&ot=5&o=127&view=enr Massachusetts Department of Education: Belmont High] , "doe.mass.gov", accessed 2006.]

The school is built on an old landfill and is situated next to Clay Pit Pond. The town's high school used to be located on Orchard street, but was badly damaged by fire in the late 1960s. A new school was eventually rebuilt at the current location on Concord Ave. The previous high school is now an elementary school.

Administration and faculty

The school administration consists of the principal, Michael Harvey, and two assistant principals, Dan Richards and Layne Millington. In recent years, the school administration has experienced frequent changes.

In June 2004, the school's long-time principal, Foster Wright, decided to retire. Jonathan Landman was hired to replace him, but the school department did not renew Landman's contract for the 2006-2007 school year. Michael Harvey, who had been among the candidates for principal in 2004, was selected as an "interim principal" for the 2006-07 school year, and, on 10 January 2007, was approved by the town as principal. He had been the Director of Social Studies during the previous school-year. In addition, one of the school's two assistant principals has left the system in June 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

The school has eight academic departments: Mathematics, English, Foreign Language, Social Studies, Science, Fine and Performing Arts, and Athletics. Each department consists of a department head, along with the teachers of the courses the department offers. The Guidance Department is responsible for the mental well-being of students, schedule composition, and college planning. Each student is assigned to a guidance counselor.

chool hours & schedule

School is in session each day between 7:35 am and 2:25 pm.

Belmont High School operates on a non-traditional module-based schedule. There are 15 modules ("mods") each day, each of which is approximately 26 minutes long. There are also blocks of "pass time" between most mods, which are usually 3 minutes in length, and are meant to give students time to walk from one class to another.

Each mod is named with a letter and a number. The letter corresponds the time of the mod (A is the earliest and spans 7:35-7:59. O is the latest, and spans 2:00-2:25). The number corresponds to the day, with Monday being 1 and Friday being 5. Thus, for example, C3 is the time period 8:27-8:52 on Wednesdays.

Most classes meet four times per week for three 2-mod sessions (a "double") and one 3-mod session (a "triple"). The day that the class does not meet is called a "drop". Science classes are an exception, meeting for two doubles and two triples each week. On Fridays, school is dismissed at 2:00, meaning that only 14 mods are held. As a result, no classes are schedules during the O5 mod.

As a result of this mod schedule, each student's schedule is unique to the classes he or she is taking. Students who do not have a class assigned during a mod are "free". Seniors are permitted, by school policy, to leave campus during this time. While no classes are scheduled for only one mod, it is possible to have only one mod free. A student who takes six classes (including one science class) will have 20 free mods per week.

A student's schedule is based on a master schedule, which states when certain mods have triples, drops, etc. As a result, it is fairly easy to describe one's schedule using a list of variations from the master schedule.

Courses and graduation requirements

The school requires that all students complete:

* 4 years of English
* 4 years of Mathematics
* 4 years of Science
* 3 years of Social Studies
* 2 years of Foreign Language
* 1 year of Fine and Performing Art
* 4 years of Physical Education and Health

A number of Advanced Placement (AP), or college-level class are offered to prepare the students for the AP exams in May.

English

As of 2007-08, all students are required to take an English course every year. Based on grade, the student may take English 9, English 10, English 11, and either English 12 or AP English Literature. English 9-12 are offered at college preparatory (CP) or honors (H) levels.

In the past, Belmont High School has, instead of English 12H, offered two humanities classes:

* Humanities, a course taught cooperatively by the English and Social Studies departments.
* Humanities Honors, unlike Humanities, was taught as a regular class by the English Department

In addition, electives such as Creative Writing and Public Speaking are offered for interested students.

ocial Studies

All students are required to take World History, Modern World History, and American Studies, all of which are offered at either a college preparatory (CP) or honors (H) level. Students can replaced Modern World History with AP European History, and can also replace American Studies with AP United States History. Electives such as AP Economics, You and the Law, and Facing History are also offered to interested students. In addition, the Social Studies department also offers Humanities and AP Psychology, both of which are "double classes". See above or below, respectively, for more information.

Mathematics

All students are required to take 4 math courses. Most students take, in order, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-calculus, and Calculus, though some students elect other options including:

* taking a review of Algebra I during their first year and ending with Pre-calculus
* taking Geometry during middle school, Calculus during the junior year, and doing an independent study (typically a course at the Harvard Extension School) during their senior year
* replacing their last course, either Calculus or Pre-calculus with Finance and Business or Advance Topics in Mathematics

In addition, the Mathematics Department also offers several electives, such as Finance and Business and AP Statistics.

Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-calculus are offered at either a college preparatory (CP) or honors (H) level. Algebra I and all electives are only offered as CP classes. Calculus is offered at three levels: one CP class and two classes to prepare students for either the AP Calculus AB exam or the AP Calculus BC exam.

cience

All students are required to take, in order, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, all of which are offered as CP and honors courses. In addition, students must take at least one elective. Potential electives include AP Chemistry, AP Biology, or AP Physics, Physics 2, Astronomy, Design and Technology, and AP Psychology / Neuroanatomy. AP Psychology / Neuroanatomy is a "double course", taught by both a Social Studies and a Science teacher. Students receive the same grade for each course on their transcripts.

Foreign Language

Two years of foreign language are required. Students may take courses in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, or Latin. Independent studies are also offered some years in German. Exchange programs exist to Argentina, France, and Italy.

Fine and Performing Arts

Belmont High School offers many performing art courses in both theater and music. This includes the PAC (performing arts company), many choirs, the wind ensemble, the symphonic band, string orchestra, the chamber orchestra, the jazz band, and the marching band. Many of the members of these ensembles are nationally recognized musicians, and the ensembles themselves have won extensive state and country-wide competitions. It is known as one of the top 100 public school music programs in the country. In addition, a vigorous AP Art program gives student artists an opportunity to develop their talents and study new techniques. There are also fine art courses including Drawing and Painting, Sculpture, Photo, and Ceramics.

Physical Education

All students are required to take Wellness during their freshman year, which is both a traditional PE class and a health/sex-ed class (parents can exclude their children from the sex-ed classes if they so chose). During their remaining years at school, students are required to fulfill two semesters of PE, which they can obtain either by playing a school-offered sport, joining certain clubs, taking Wellness II, or doing PE outside of school. All non-school-offered PE activities require a "contract" with the Athletics Department.

Extracurricular activities and sports

ports

Belmont High School is part of the Middlesex League and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The school colors are maroon and white. The school mascot is the Marauder.

The high school's athletic department offers 28 sports with 57 levels of competition:

Fall sports

* Cheerleading (V)
* Cross country - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Field hockey (V, JV, F)
* Football (V, JV, F)
* Golf (V)
* Soccer—boys, girls (V, JV, F)
* Swimming—girls (V, JV)
* Volleyball—girls (V, JV)

Winter sports

* Basketball - boys, girls (V, JV, F)
* Ice hockey - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Skiing - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Swimming - boys (V, JV)
* Indoor track - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Wrestling (V, JV)

pring sports

* Baseball (V, JV, F)
* Lacrosse - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Softball (V, JV, F)
* Spring track - boys, girls (V, JV)
* Tennis - boys, girls (V, JV)

Clubs

The clubs range from various science clubs to theatrical organizations and civil rights groups, as well as various hobby enthusiasts [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/clubs/] . Clubs are usually started (or at least led) by students, with a staff member serving as an advisor.

Luau scandal

During a Hawaiian themed dance in the spring of 2004, several severely intoxicated students were transported to local hospitals as a result of alcohol poisoning [http://www.wickedlocal.com/belmont/archive/x21532638] . The dance was prematurely ended and ignited a heated debate amongst school officials and students about future policies regarding school functions. Since the Luau scandal, the Belmont High School administration, spearheaded by then-principal Dr. Jonathan Landman, made a concerted effort to crack down on students deciding to impair themselves before school events. In May 2008, students attending prom were made to walk the aisle of an auditorium with their respective dates while the Belmont public looked on, a procession known as promenade [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/newsletters/March2008.pdf] .

Notable alumni

*Masako Owada, Crown Princess of Japan (class of 1981). [ [http://bhsclass81.net/classdir.html#m BHS Class of '81 Website] , "bhsclass81.net", accessed 2007. ]
*Wilbur Wood, MLB pitcher. [ [http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/06/11/0541365879/ An Iron Man with Local Roots] , "www.boston.com", accessed 2007.]
*Robbie Guertin, guitarist, tamborinist, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. [ [http://www.providencephoenix.com/music/other_stories/documents/05038216.asp Men of Mystery] , "www.providencephoenix.com", accessed 2007.]
*Patty Shea, champion field hockey player and coach, member of the US Olympic team in 1988 and 1996. (class of 1980) [ [http://www.ncaasports.com/fieldhockey/womens/story/6844257 The Pioneering Patty Shea] , "ncaasports.com", accessed 2006.]
*Emily Cook, U.S. Olympian - 2002 & 2006. [ [http://www.emilycook.com/sitepages/?section=1&page=9 Official Website] "www.emilycook.com", accessed 2007.]

References

External links

* [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/ Official website]
* [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/docs/ProgramStudies2008_2009.pdf 2008-2009 Program of Studies] (PDF)
* [http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bhs/docs/BHSStudentHandbook0809.pdf 2008-2009 Student Handbook] (PDF)


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