Scheduling, Curriculum, and Staffing
In the beginning…CHAOS:
In August of 1961, students and faculty were told that they were going to be assigned to use the three elementary schools in the district because of the delay in the opening of the new high school. In September 1961, the 8th, 9th, and 10th graders were shuffled between West Side School, East Side School, and Lloyd Harbor School. The 11th and 12th graders continued at the out of district high schools.
In the morning the 8th and 9th graders began their day at 10am at West Side. They attended classes in all available areas of the school which included corridors, the gym, and the basement. Then they had a box lunch, usually held outside, that was prepared by the cafeteria staff at Lloyd Harbor School. In the afternoon they were transported to Lloyd Harbor School by bus for five class periods. The 10th graders began their day at 10am at East Side School and then had a box lunch also prepared by the Lloyd Harbor School cafeteria. They were also transported to Lloyd Harbor School for five periods in the afternoon. The day ended at 4:10pm for these students.
In January 1962 the high school staff held a reception to thank all the staff at the elementary schools for the use of their facilities. Before the reception, a tour of the new school was given. This was followed by an original comedy skit, performed by high school faculty, written by English teacher Mr. Howard Storm.
In 1964, the school telephone number was MY2-8677. Note that the telephone number has two letters, which was an abbreviation for a word, and five numbers. The letters in the beginning of the telephone number were called an exchange. The MY stands for Myrtle. They are a link to our more analog past.
The educational program of the district was formed with the help of the citizen’s advisory committees, educational consultants, and the professional staff. The school followed the philosophy of educator J. Lloyd Trump, “the Trump Plan”. The plan recommended facilities for large and small group study, and independent study in specific subject areas. Each pavilion included a study center that had a library that was staffed by a library clerk in addition to a central library. Emphasis was placed on flexibility in the curriculum in order to accommodate wide variations in class sizes from 12 to 75 students.
An open house was held on Sunday, April 8, 1962 from 2-5pm for all high school parents. They were invited to tour the building and listen to a panel of faculty members describe the curriculum.
A four point ethics code written by the principal, at the request of students, parents, and faculty, was instituted in the 1962-1963 school year. It included the following: character, scholarship, appearance, and service. The high school boys were expected to wear ties from October through May and the girls were to avoid heavy makeup.
Fran Roberts began his tenure on July 1, 1960 of a high school that had yet to be built. He was the principal of a school without a school. For an entire year before the school opened, he recruited faculty from outside the district as well as from the existing staff members. The intent was to find the very best faculty with culturally diverse educational backgrounds and experiences. Starting teacher salary was $4,700 in the 1959-1960 school year. Dr. Roberts and twenty five faculty members attended a week of workshops at Goddard College in Vermont in June 1961. The goal was for everybody to get to know each other and discuss and develop a sound, forward looking curriculum for the new school.
Student and community orientation for the new school consisted of many informal and formal discussions between students, faculty, and parents. The plan for the first student government organization was done in the spring of 1961 in hopes of having a functioning student government when the school opened.