The following information was provided by Minuteman High School:
Dear Minuteman High School Community,
We’re beginning the month on an exciting note: We’ve safely brought back more students for daily in-person learning and we’ve begun the acceptance process for next year’s ninth graders.
It was a great feeling to welcome more students back into our new building on March 1, when we increased to two grades of students receiving in-person instruction. Safety and science have been at the forefront of our planning, and the commitment of students and staff to wear masks and follow safety precautions is allowing students to learn in a safe and healthy environment. There is no replacement for in-person learning, which is critical for growing academic, career technical education (CTE), and social-emotional skills – along with fostering a sense of normalcy. I am grateful for the input of parents, teachers, and students through online surveys, meetings, and discussions as we carefully developed our plans. We are closely monitoring Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeff Riley’s pending proposal to bring all K-12 students back in-person in April or May.
As the level of in-person instruction gradually increases, we are using this opportunity to address the learning loss that has occurred with many students due to remote learning. We have strengthened “Facilitated Support Time” in students’ new daily schedules to receive help from teachers. This spring we are offering Saturday courses for students in CTE programs identified for targeted support. We are also planning a robust summer learning program for Minuteman students. In addition, this April vacation we will offer a program called World of Work for middle school students seeking to grow CTE awareness and career development skills. We will have more details on these programs soon.
Meanwhile, our students and teachers have done a great job adjusting to the hybrid model over the past few months. Here are a few highlights:
- The Engineering and Robotics programs launched the FIRST Robotics STEM Club.
- Thirty-two students are in the Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program, working on job sites connected to their career majors and gaining hours toward industry-recognized credentials.
- Twenty-one students have artwork in LexArt’s 25th Annual Regional High School Art Show.
- Students in Design and Visual Communication are working on branding for the Town of Lexington’s downtown renovation project.
- The Culinary Arts and Horticulture programs have shifted to a contactless, to-go model for the restaurant and plant shops through the weekly Soup Group program, which has seen between 100 and 200 customers per week.
- Carpentry students are working on a home improvement project in the community.
- Multimedia Engineering students are filming various video projects and receiving virtual guest lectures from Hollywood filmmakers. They’re also assisting with video editing for Lexington’s annual Patriots Day Celebration.
- Lucy Kitchenka, a senior Carpentry major from Arlington, has been nominated for an Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award, given annually by the Mass. Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA).
- Day Kolz, a senior Early Education and Teaching major from Wayland, has been nominated for the Walter J. Markham Award, provided by the Mass. Vocational Association (MVA).
Our admissions process has also continued with modifications made due to COVID. We’ve begun issuing letters of acceptance to new students who applied for the fall of 2021. Once again, Minuteman is experiencing a very high number of applications, reflecting a surging interest in high-quality career technical education. As of March 1, we received 361 total applications for 200 slots for the ninth-grade class. Out of the total, 271 applications were from students living in Minuteman’s nine member towns: Acton, Arlington, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham, and Stow. You can learn more about the admissions process on our website.
While life inside and outside of school is still not back to normal, we are optimistic and looking ahead. Athletics remains on hold, but with the ongoing construction of new athletic fields and the certainty of wider COVID-19 vaccine distribution, we are hopeful for a full return to athletics this fall. We are also planning for an end-of-the-year celebration for seniors, along with exploring our graduation ceremony options, all in accordance with safety protocols.
Our students would not be safe and successful without the support of everyone in our Minuteman community. I’m thankful for the parents, students, teachers, and staff who are doing their part to get students back into the high-quality level of academic and CTE learning they deserve.
Edward A. Bouquillon, PhD
Minuteman High School