Message from the Principal

Esta carta se encuentra en Espanol como acoplamento abajo.
BRIEN McMAHON HIGH SCHOOL

August 16, 2019

Dear Senator Families,

The long days of summer offer the opportunity to relax, pursue passions, and to reconnect without the stress of the school year.  I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and productive summer.  In just a couple of weeks, we will begin the 2019-20 school year.  As is so with every new beginning, we look ahead with hope and promise as we consider the possibilities and many ways that we hope to build on past successes.  I’d like to highlight for you some of the ways that we are looking to continue to build at BMHS this year.

Climate and Culture

As the most diverse high school in the state of Connecticut, the McMahon community takes pride in the richness of the academic and social learning afforded our students.  I continue to marvel at the accomplishments of our students and admire the way students truly care for one another and care about one another.  While we are lucky to have amazing students who help to build and maintain a positive climate, we have several initiatives designed to assist in the process.  This year, we will focus on the acronym, B.M.H.S.

B: Be Respectful
M: Make Good Decisions
H: Help Others
S: Strive for Success

When we think about the behaviors that lead to success and contribute to a supportive community, all fall under one or multiple categories in the acronym.  We will infuse them into daily life at McMahon, teach them in classrooms and in advisory (House), and celebrate them at awards assemblies.  If the situation arises, please assist in reinforcing these behaviors and mindsets.

Academic Programs

In June, the first cohort of International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma candidates graduated from McMahon.  Over the summer, we learned that half of the students earned their IB diplomas; below the national average, but an excellent percentage for a first cohort.  Congratulations to the graduates; please join us in December for a celebration of graduates and current IB students.  This year, we are working IB to seek authorization for a new program: the IB Career-related Programme (CP).  The CP allows students to follow a Project Lead the Way engineering, bio-medical, or computer science pathway or an NJROTC pathway and to weave in IB courses, earning a certificate in the process.  Another new program this year is the Marine Sciences Pathway.  As I write, the former auto shop is being transformed into a state of the art marine science lab with fish tanks and aquaponics systems.  Eventually, there will also be a marine mechanics lab as well.  In October (date and time TBD), we will hold an evening information session about academic programs at McMahon.  Please join us if you are interested.

Student Tardiness

As a staff, we are asking for your assistance with student tardiness.  We are aware that traffic backs up on Highland Avenue in the morning.  In order to help alleviate the traffic and to prevent students from being tardy, please help in the following ways:

  • If you live at an address served by a NPS bus, please have your student ride the bus.  Check here (https://www.norwalkps.org/district/transportation) for information on transportation and busses.
  • If you choose to drop your child off at school, please plan to arrive before 7:10.  The majority of students who drive arrive after 7:10 and if we can reduce the number of cars arriving during that 20-minute period, it will help to alleviate the backup on Highland Avenue and reduce student tardiness.

Please reiterate to your child the negative effects of being late to school and late to class:

  • Missed instructional time.
  • Work that is missed due to unexcused tardiness cannot be made up and will be recorded as a 0.
  • Possible disciplinary consequences including detention and in-school suspension for repeated tardiness to school and to class.

Finally and most importantly is the fact that school is a place of business for students.  As students prepare for the next phase of their lives, it is important that they practice the behaviors that will allow them to succeed in college and in the workplace.  At BMHS, we ask that students respect themselves and respect others.  Choosing to be late is choosing not to succeed.  Arriving late to a class disrupts instruction and negatively affects other students.  Please try to reiterate the importance of timely arrival at school and to class on a daily basis.

New Athletic Director

As is the case every year, we welcome 10 new teachers, however, one position warrants special attention.  John Cross will begin his first year as the Athletic Director.  For those of you who do not know John, he is BMHS through and through.  John is a McMahon alum as are both of his parents; the roots run deep.  He taught chemistry, coached baseball, and has worn many different hats during his twenty plus years at BMHS.  John is already working on two key initiatives: the renovation and updating of the weight room/fitness room and the redesign of the BMHS brand, starting with a new logo.  Check out our new M logo and purchase some McMahon gear at the sideline store; just visit the BMHS website and look for the sideline store.  I am looking forward to working with John as we build on past successes and usher in the next era of McMahon athletics. 

Safety and Security

At BMHS, we see safety as the highest priority.  We know that students perform at the highest level when they feel physically and emotionally safe.  One way to create a safe environment is by establishing a supportive community like I described in the Culture and Climate section above.  In addition, we train students to “See Something, Hear Something, Say Something” because it is essential that students let adults know of unsafe situations.  Finally, our school preparedness committee meets every month to plan drills, identify issues, and to develop strategies to keep everyone safe.  We spend a lot of time training students in procedures and mindsets, but also performing drills to ensure that students know how to react.  It saddens me that this has become part of the high school experience part of our cultural lexicon; when I attended high school, things of this nature were not even a consideration.  The reality, however, is that discussing and addressing issues of this nature helps to make schools safer.  More than anything else, I want to assure you that we work hard to ensure that all students feel physically and emotionally safe at McMahon.

First Day of School

When students report on Tuesday, August 27, they should go directly to their House (advisory).  Staff members will be in the main lobby with lists in case students are not sure where to go.  Freshmen Orientation Guides (FROGs) will be present as well to help direct students.  Despite our best efforts to make the first day a seamless experience for all, there will be a few hiccups, but it always seems to work.

Also, please plan on joining us for Open House on Tuesday, September 10, starting at about 5:30.  Details can be found in this summer packet email.

Important Documents:

Principal's Letter - Spanish.pdf 

Tuesday, August 27 

 

First day of school for all students. It will be a full day and students will report to their House (advisory) at the start of the day where they will receive their class schedules.

Tuesday, September 10 

Open House (5:30-8:30)

October 11 & 18

Underclass Photos (more info to follow)

October 5

SAT School Day