Dr. George Meets with Student Leaders of MHSN


Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Dr. George, Superintendent of Schools, met with MHSN Student Leaders in an open forum during blocks three and four to discuss student concerns and initiatives.

Dr. George addressed the Student Leaders, stating that one of the district initiatives is focused on student-directed learning and student choice.  He invited students to focus on their strengths and setting personalized goals.  He then opened the conversation and asked for student input, to which students were more than welcome to respond.

Tim McCann, Vice President of MHSN, addressed the policy of coming to school late.  He offered that it should be the teachers’ responsibility to mark students late, rather than have students wait in line in the main office to get a pass, resulting in missing additional class time.  Dr. George stated that the attendance policy is a building initiative and that students should present their ideas to Dr. Cartier and come up with the best possible way to record attendance.

Student Government adviser Mr. Jon Scala asked about the possibility of having a bonfire for the Middletown community.  Dr. George was excited about the idea and loved to see the school spirit!

In addition, students created a positive climate for intellectual dialogue when they addressed curricular concerns.  Some students were concerned that they were not succeeding in the Flipped Classroom environment, as they were being required to take tests on information they had not yet mastered or understood through a video.  Dr. George responded that the problem then lies in the implementation of the structure and that professional development will be provided for teachers so that the implementation of initiatives is consistent.  “I believe we should teach toward mastery,” he said.  He further added that in order to succeed in a Flipped Classroom setting students should keep an open dialogue with teachers and take responsibility for their academic success.

One topic addressed by James Cook, junior at MHSN, was the vocational program.  In speaking on behalf of many, he voiced that students were concerned vocational programs were not important to the school and were not offered to many students as an option.  Dr. George ensured the student leaders that vocational programs are extremely important and that the district needs to do a better job of advertising these programs to students.  

Dr. George told students he is proud of their involvement and that this is a great time for change.  He feels students should know how to learn, rather than simply what to learn.  He promised students that he will take the information presented in the forum back to the Curriculum Committee.  He also ensured that meetings would be held among the administration to review the topics addressed by student leaders.  Dr. George plans on having these kinds of open meetings with students at least three times per year, with a follow-up meeting possibly being held in December.