Harmas explains new structure of PTO meetings this year; first one scheduled tomorrow at 9 a.m. in community room


Student body president Maddie Heath socializes outside the freshman cafeteria with freshman during lunch. She said the extended SRT in the new late start schedule will be beneficial for all students.

Da-Hyun Hong

The structure of PTO meetings will better accommodate different student interests this year, according to Principal Tom Harmas. He said the meetings will be thematic; for example, there would be rounds of IB/AP, TCP, and JEL and CTE classes.

“We want to make sure everybody doesn’t have to listen to everything. Instead, they can be really informed,” Harmas said. “It felt like, by the time most kids got to high school, they were making those decisions anyway, but our parents really needed to be informed of what types of choices there are, and therefore they can help guide their student to those areas and usually the counselor and the student decides on the usual classes.”

The first PTO meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the community room.

Another significant change of the year is the late start schedule; although the start time remains at 8:30 a.m., an additional 20 minutes were added to SRT. Harmas said teachers with six classes only had 10 minutes of work time in their professional learning communities so this extended SRT gives them the same amount of time as other teachers in the school.

Harmas said, “we’ve been cheating—for example, business, some of art, some of family consumer science, and so forth—out of professional development time. When you think about it, the more they can spend on that, the better off our kids will be in the classroom.”

Student body president Maddie Heath also said this extra SRT time is beneficial.

She said, “I think it will be a bit of a reprieve in the same way late start is. It gives kids additional time to complete assignments, meet with teachers, etc. all while getting the extra time to sleep in.”