What I Learned About MHS At Freshman Orientation

Montclair High School offered an orientation this week for incoming ninth graders and their parents.


Montclair High School held its annual Freshman Orientation this week during which a packed auditorium of parents and students were told the ins and outs of what high school life will be like for incoming ninth graders this fall.

Here are 11 things (below) this Montclair Patch editor learned (as a somewhat nervous parent of a new freshman).

If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section below.

1) Twenty seniors in the class of 2012 are expected to attend Ivy League colleges this fall compared with 14 seniors in the class of 2011.

2) Traffic around the high school is brutal between 7:50 a.m. and 8 a.m. so try to drop your child off by 7:45 a.m. each morning.

3) Students are not allowed to wear hats, caps, or sunglasses. And they can bring cell phones to school although they are not allowed to turn them on during the school day.

4) MHS offers six World Languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, German, and Chinese.

5) MHS offers high-level math courses including third semester college calculus.

6) MHS offers a total of 45 Advanced Placement/Honors courses.

7) Every student has to take a half-year of financial literacy courses.

8) Lunch is 45 minutes long—or a heck of a lot longer than at the middle schools.

9) Clubs include everything from the Gay/Straight Alliance to the National Organization for Women to Christians Meet at the Pole to the Ukulele Club to Robotics to the Vegetarian/Vegan Club—to a whole lot more!!!

10) There will be about 500 ninth graders joining MHS in the fall and the school has a total of about 2,000 students.

11) The first football game is coming up Sept. 8—and the MHS cheerleaders are a spirited bunch!

H Fallon September 01, 2012 at 03:42 PM
re: traffic -- In the session I attended, Mr. Earle also emphasized that while dropping off early is one good suggestion (and freshman are admitted to wait in the Annex Atrium if they arrive early), even more important is to familiarize yourself with the relatively new traffic patterns around Park/Chestnut that are in place from 7:45-8:15 (I think) on school days. Turns from Park onto Chestnut, for example, are restricted, and there are other restrictions as well. All intended to keep flow of traffic moving and to have a safer, less chaotic drop-off. Worth driving by the high school over the weekend to read the small print on the signage.
H Fallon September 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
re: cell phones. One of the administrators -- Mr. Cooper? Mr. Gannon? -- also noted that while students aren't allowed to have cell phones out in general, since the building now has wifi and many teachers are trying to embrace the use of technology, students who have the technical capability to do so may be allowed to use their devices in class if the group is doing online research, etc. Just common sense - since they've got the capability right there in their pocket!
Mary Ann Cucci September 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM
If a student feels they are capable of taking AP level courses, I recommend it. My son just started his Freshman year of College with 14 credits from 3 AP classes he took at MHS. Saves time & money-what could be better! Also before a parent gets caught up in their child attending an Ivy League School- they are not for every student. It depends on what your child is interested in studying and where THEY think THEY will be happy. There are so many fabulous colleges and universities.
A. Gideon September 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
A word of warning about AP classes and those college credits: I placed out of two semesters of calculus thanks to my BC calculus test score. Given the material actually covered, through, I shouldn't have placed out of the second semester. Material was covered in it, and presumed in later math courses, that my AP class did not cover. That made life something of a pain for a while. Keep in mind that this was one HS and one College and it was decades ago. But before accepting college credit for AP courses, be sure that you're not skipping something you've missed and will need. On the other hand, AP courses by their very nature are more interesting than "conventional" HS classes. Even w/o the prospect of any college credit, I recommend them. ...Andrew


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