Changes in Store for South River High School Students
South River High School will implement an hour-long lunch for all students starting the second semester of school according to George Beaumont, assistant principal. This program should make parents and students happy because it could practically eliminate the need for after school clubs and tutoring. The program is called NEST and it is already in place at over half of Montgomery County schools. It has also been implemented in some Calvert County Schools including Patuxent High.
Currently, some students have a split lunch. They go to a class for 25 minutes or so, then get 25 minutes for lunch and then return to their class for the remainder of the period. Other students have lunch before or after class the split class. One thing is for certain, all students don’t get the same period in the middle of the day.
The NEST lunch would give students an hour of lunch time, all together. Yes, all 2,200 students at once.
During the NEST hour, they will be permitted to eat lunch, conduct club or service organization meetings, get tutoring by fellow students, mentoring by teachers or staff, retake tests, correct or do homework, talk to guidance staff, socialize or even play Frisbee in the grass.
It gives students a lot of choice in how they spend their time.
At schools were NEST is in place, administrators say that it raises grades, test scores and rates of graduation.
In a 2009 Washington Post article, Patuxent Principal Nancy Highsmith said that students who previously needed extra help sometimes couldn’t come in before school or stay after. She said that the NEST hour is an opportunity to help the students who need it at a time that is convenient for everyone.
The originator of the NEST lunch, James Hubert Blake High School’s principal Carole Goodman said in the Post article that she started her program in 2006, but still has to warn parents:
“It looks like complete chaos to someone who doesn’t know better. It’s loud. It’s noisy. It’s messy. But that’s what teenagers are.”
For the fall semester, the traditional lunch period will remain the same.
Beaumont said that this year there will be a new club, Key Club, which will launch in the fall. Key Club is dedicated to benefiting the community at large.
The Business Advisory Board has been working over the summer with teachers and administrator to present the school’s Signature program of Global Communication, which will be fully implemented in the fall.
South River will be enacting the OLWEUS bullying prevention program.
Finally, a dozen or so teachers were hired over the summer. They will begin when faculty returns to school, the week before students come back. Here they are:
- St. Johnn Blondell, an art teacher, Blondell is a transfer from Old Mill High School
- Nathan Burd, a science teacher who is new to Anne Arundel County
- Colin Campbell, a social studies teacher who transferred from Arundel Middle School
- Zachary Cohen is a tech-ed teacher who is new to Anne Arundel County
- Mattie Fenton is a dance teacher. She was a student teacher at South River in 2011-2012
- Alison Grava, an English teacher who transferred from Arundel High School
- Zachary Lloyd, an AVID/Social Studies teacher was a long term substitute teacher at South River
- Meredith Martin, is a science teacher who is transferring from Chesapeake High School
- Kimberly Milligan is a math teacher who is transferring from Northeast High school
- Megan Philbeck is a special education teacher who has transferred from Severna Park High School
- Sarah Rodrigue is a math teacher, a transfer from Meade High School
- Emily Rospigliosi is an English teacher. She is new to the county
- Michael Wasilenko is an English teacher and a transfer from Meade High school
- John Zelezen is an English teacher and is a transfer from Glen Burnie High School
Congratulations to all of the new faculty and welcome to South County.