The upcoming school year is expected to be another banner one for Minuteman High School, according to its top administrators.
“We’re really excited about the 2017-18 school year,” said Principal Jack Dillon.
Orientation will be held for new students in grades 9, 10 and 11 on Monday, August 28 from 7:45 am to 12:15 pm. All students will attend on Tuesday, August 29, which will be a full school day.
Last year, which Principal Dillon called “the most significant in Minuteman’s history,” was notable for major developments such as changing the school’s regional agreement to include ten towns in Minuteman’s district instead of sixteen. Construction on the new, $144.9 million Minuteman High School began as well.
The momentum is expected to continue this year. Principal Dillon and Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon said they are enthused about, for example, the reinvigoration of the Minuteman Parents Association, implementing significant elements of Minuteman’s academy model like improved integration of disciplines and in-depth professional development, and enhancing the school’s roster of career and technical education offerings with a new, high-quality Advanced Manufacturing program.
Dr. Bouquillon is also working on several additional initiatives. He said he is looking forward to talking with communities such as Cambridge and Watertown which might be interested in joining the Minuteman district. Developing Minuteman’s campus to create what Dr. Bouquillon called “a more robust environment” when the existing Minuteman building eventually comes down is another project he is pursuing.
Among the possible uses for the present Minuteman campus that Dr. Bouquillon mentioned are utilization of the site by a post-secondary institution or by a corporation for workforce training. Providing wellness and recreation facilities for the public is another idea on the table.
“This is a great opportunity for Minuteman to create a campus that reinforces our mission,” said Dr. Bouquillon. He said it would also offset the cost of the new building project for the school’s member towns.
Dr. Bouquillon’s goals for Minuteman’s students include giving them the opportunity to complete their associate’s degree and receive their high school diploma simultaneously in specific areas such as Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing, Health Assisting, Information Technology and Environmental Technology. (Dual enrollment and articulation agreements allow students to earn college credits while they are still in high school.)
Dr. Bouquillon also hopes to “provide a highly individualized educational plan for every single student that will take Minuteman to the next level.”
Day-to- day operations at Minuteman will undergo few changes thus year. Principal Dillon explained that construction of the new Minuteman High School will not disrupt students’ education. He did point out that the bus company is aware of and will accommodate any needed changes in the flow of traffic on campus.
Early release on Wednesdays at 1:30 pm to facilitate teacher collaboration will begin on September 6.
Principal Dillon said that he has been working with Assistant Principal / Director of Admissions George Clement to restart the Minuteman Parents Association (MPA). This group of parent volunteers holds various events to raise money for purchasing equipment for the school and funding scholarships.
Right now, there is a core group of eight parents in the MPA, said Principal Dillon, and others have indicated their interest in participating. “I can’t tell you how excited I am about this group of parents,” he said. Anyone who would like to take part can go to www.minuteman.org or call Principal Dillon at 781-851- 6500, ext. 7217.
Among the activities on tap for the MPA this year are a speaker series and Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo Night at the Woburn Elks on October 28, 2017. Ticket information will be posted on Minuteman’s web site.
Another highlight of the upcoming year is that Minuteman will be spotlighted on two programs slated to air nationwide on PBS. One broadcast is about vocational education; the other is a segment of “This Old House.” Some of Minuteman’s Horticulture and Landscape Technology students and teachers will be shown
refurbishing the Buttrick Gardens at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord.
These are exciting times for Minuteman. With the school year about to get underway, Dr. Bouquillon said he is looking forward to continuing to work with teachers and students “to design a school that’s pretty unique.”
Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage to its students, expanding their opportunities for
college and career success. Minuteman is as an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges.