Belmont High School (Massachusetts)
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|Belmont High School|
221 Concord Avenue
|Established||1865 (OS), 1970 (NS)|
|Color(s)||Maroon and Blue|
|Team name||Belmont High School Marauders|
|Website||Belmont High School|
Belmont High School is a four-year public high school in Belmont, Massachusetts. It was built in 1970 at a cost of $9 million. The school had 1,236 students enrolled and a student/teacher ratio of 17:1 in the 2014–2015 school year.
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 1967. A new school was eventually built at the current location on 221 Concord Avenue in Belmont, MA. The previous high school re-opened as the Roger Wellington elementary school in and was entirely demolished in February–March 2010 for reconstruction.
- 1 Administration and faculty
- 2 School hours and schedule
- 3 Courses and graduation requirements
- 4 Extracurricular activities and sports
- 5 Supplementary education
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Administration and faculty
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The school administration consists of the interim principal, Mr. Thomas Brow, and three assistant principals, Lisa Hurtubise, Michael Bruno, and Daniel O'Brien. In recent years, the school administration has experienced frequent changes.
In June 2004, the school's long-time principal, Foster Wright, retired. 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 2006–2007 school year, and, on January 10, 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, 2006, 2010, and 2011. In 2012, when Harvey left to become superintendent of the Hamilton-Wenham schools, former-assistant-principal Daniel Richards took his place. Richards had spent his last year as the Principal of Melrose High and had been replaced by David Smokler. When Richards returned, Smokler kept his position temporarily before being permanently replaced by the Head of Guidance, Jim Brown.
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.
School hours and schedule
School is in session each day between 7:35 am and 2:25 pm except for Wednesdays, which conclude at 1:25 pm.
Belmont High School operates on a non-traditional module-based schedule. There are 15 modules ("mods") each day, each of which is approximately 25 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 7:35am–7:59am. O is the latest, and spans 2:00pm–2:25pm). The number corresponds to the day, with Monday being 1 and Friday being 5. Thus, for example, C3 is the time period 8:27am–8:52am 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". On Wednesdays, school is dismissed at 1:25pm for most students, meaning that only 13 mods are held, with the last two mods of the day being "free" for teacher meetings. Additionally, all classes are shortened by a few minutes to compensate for the fact that the mod usually ends at 1:33pm, not 1:25pm.
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 if they have met the required criteria for the privilege. Juniors also have access to this policy, however only on their second semester. While no classes are scheduled for only one mod, it is possible to have only one mod free. A student who takes six classes will have 20 free mods per week, while those who take Wellness I or Positive Decision Making will have 16 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. Based on the results of its AP exams, Belmont High School is, as of December 2008, on the U.S. News & World Report list of the top 100 high schools in the United States. It occupies the lofty #100 position on that list, and holds the second-highest ranking of any Massachusetts school on the list, behind the Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the nation, and the highest ranking of any Massachusetts school that does not require an entrance exam.
As of 2007-08, all students are required to take an English course each 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 in place of English 12 and other English electives, although these are no longer offered.
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 replace 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 AP Psychology, which is a "double class". Students who take AP Psychology are required to take an honors level Neurobiology course as well.
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:
- Some take Algebra I freshman year but most take Geometry during their first year. Those who choose the former usually end with Pre-calculus.
- Calculus during the junior year of high school, and participating in an independent study (typically a course at the Harvard Extension School) during their senior year.
- Substituting either Calculus or Pre-calculus with Math Big Decision
In addition, the Mathematics Department also offers several electives, such as AP Stats.
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 H class and two classes to prepare students for either the AP Calculus AB exam or the AP Calculus BC exam.
All students are required to take, in order, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, all of which are offered as CP and honors courses, and, in the case of Biology, AP in the first year. In addition, students must take at least one elective. Potential electives include AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics 1, Astronomy, Design and Technology, and AP Psychology / Neurobiology.
Two years of foreign language are required, though many students opt to take more. Students may take courses in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, or Latin. Independent studies may also be offered in German. Exchange programs exist to Argentina, France, and Italy.
Fine and Performing Arts
Belmont High School offers many fine and performing arts courses. This includes 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. It offers class in theater including Acting and Technical Theater, and has a strong theatre program in the form of an after school extra-curricular program known as the Performing Arts Company (PAC). In addition, a vigorous AP Art program gives student artists an opportunity to develop their talents and study new techniques. Fine art courses include Drawing and Painting, 3D Art, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photo, and Ceramics.
All students are required to take the half-year, one semester Wellness I 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 choose). Additionally, students must take Positive Decision Making during their junior year, which is also a one semester class. 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
Belmont High School is part of the Middlesex League and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The school colors are maroon and blue. The school mascot is the Marauder which is a pirate.
Belmont High Girls Rugby won the first-ever state championship in the sport defeating Algonquin Regional High School, 17-14, on June 10, 2017. It is also the first time in the US a state interscholastic body sponsored a rugby title.
The high school's athletic department offers 29 sports with 61 levels of competition:
- Cheerleading (V, JV)
- 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, F)
- 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)
- Cheerleading (V)
- Baseball (V, JV, F)
- Lacrosse - boys, girls (V, JV)
- Rugby - boys, girls (V, JV)
- Softball (V, JV, F)
- Spring track - boys, girls (V, JV)
- Tennis - boys, girls (V, JV)
The clubs range from various science clubs to theatrical organizations and civil rights groups, as well as various hobby enthusiasts . The majority of students participate in at least one or more clubs throughout the school year, as there are many types of clubs that appeal to different preferences. For example, some sports clubs include soccer club, strength training club, and ultimate frisbee team while other clubs are more academically-oriented, such as math team, science team, Latin club, computer science club, and debate team.
Clubs are usually started (or at least led) by students, with a staff member serving as an adviser.
In the spring of 2011, the Belmont Rugby Football Club (BRFC) won the Division 2 Massachusetts High School Rugby State championship, and won the Div. 1 championship in 2013. The team participated in the championship game for three consecutive years (2013-2015).
- Emily Cook, U.S. Olympian - 2002, 2006, and 2010.
- Robert F. Foley, Retired United States Army lieutenant general. Medal of Honor recipient.
- Robbie Guertin, guitarist, tambourinist, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
- Masako Owada, Empress of Japan (class of 1981).
- Mike Palm, MLB pitcher.
- Becca Pizzi, marathon runner.
- Patty Shea, champion field hockey player and coach, member of the US Olympic team in 1988 and 1996. (class of 1980) 
- Wilbur Wood, MLB pitcher.
- Belmont High School website, belmont.ki12.ma.us/bhs/info.html, accessed 2007.
- "Belmont High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- "SAT Performance Report - School and District Profiles". Profiles.doe.mass.edu. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. September 20, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "Belmont High". USNews. Archived from the original on 2016-04-15.
- "Historic Belmont Fires". Belmont Citizen. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
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- Tucker, Franklin (2012-06-14). "Welcome Back: Richards Named New Belmont High Principal - Schools - Belmont, MA Patch". Belmont.patch.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "Belmont High School Web Site > News Events Schedules > MOD Schedule & Times". www.belmont.k12.ma.us. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
- "Belmont High School Web Site. Mode Schedule". Belmont.k12.ma.us. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "Best High Schools Rankings | Top High Schools". US News. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "Club History". Belmont High School Rugby. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "關於我們 About Us." Lexington Chinese School. Retrieved on September 8, 2015. "Lexington Chinese School 221 Concord Ave. Belmont, MA 02478, USA (at Belmont High School)" Directions
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- Official Website Archived December 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine www.emilycook.com, accessed 2007.
- Men of Mystery Archived December 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, www.providencephoenix.com, accessed 2007.
- BHS Class of '81 Website Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, bhsclass81.net, accessed 2007.
- SABR Biography of Mike Palm
- Blank, Nikki (February 16, 2016). "Belmont Woman Runs 7 Marathons In 7 Days, On 7 Continents". WGBH. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- The Pioneering Patty Shea, ncaasports.com, accessed 2006.
- An Iron Man with Local Roots, www.boston.com, accessed 2007.