Newburyport High School Council

NHS School Council Members

    • Administrative Representatives:  Andy Wulf (Principal)
    • Teacher Representatives:   Jess Buchman, David Clay, and Jill Moran
    • Parent Representatives:  Stacy Gijsbers, and Laurie Kench
    • Student Representatives:  Declan Hochheiser, Emerson Leahy, Rourke Lee
    • Community Representatives:  Dr. Ralph Orlando

    Dates: Tuesdays:

    October 10, November 14, December 12, January 9, February 6, March 12, April 9, May 7

    5:00 - 6:25

Agendas and Notes

  • May 16, 2023 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 4-11/23

    Meeting Summary

    Present:  Andrew Wulf, Mike Testa, Jessica Buchmann, David Clay, Laurie Kench, Riya Kaur, Tuala Sullivan, Chris Cain, Dr. Orlando, Emerson Leahy


    1. High School Updates 


    1. Budget Update: A public meeting was held last Monday. Information on that meeting can be downloaded on the District Website. In summary, the budget generated through the council was still all included. A primary theme of the budget focuses on specialized programming. 


    1. Update on Scheduling: Lauren Gee is working diligently on the scheduling. Should be more set after vacation. Our objective is to have a draft of the schedule run by mid May.


    1. Accreditation Process Overview: There was a staff meeting last week with the accreditation team and a review was done from the previous staff meeting of the teacher’s input and feedback. After school break, teachers will vote on how we rate ourselves against the standards of accreditation. 


    Andy Wulf shared that through the process additional objectives will be added to the school improvement plan.  He is hopeful these will be drafted before the May 16th council meeting so they can be shared with the team.

    One highlight of the report summary discussed by the team centered on schoolwide communications.  The objective is to share information so that parents can have conversations with their students regarding opportunities and happenings at school.  A community member asked how they were sent out, and Andy explained via email, phone call and put on the website.


    1. Alice Drill Update: Mike Testa shared that the Alice Drill went well yesterday. Mike Testa gave information on the process that took place and how floors of the building responded given the scenario practiced.  He spoke of the lockdown shards that had been purchased and install since the fall drill.  These were added based on feedback from the Police during the fall drill.  The shades worked well and ensured no sightlines were visible in the classroom. 


    Mr. Testa also explained that a Google form went out to faculty to find out what they felt went well and what we can improve on. Teachers also engaged their students and completed a form to collect their feedback.

    Andy Wulf commented that the Police Department hase worked extremely well with NHS. There is a police presence on campus regularly, so students/staff get familiar and comfortable. The SRO is here daily.


    1. Planning to Review and Update the Student Handbook


    • Focus Areas: This part of the meeting was a continuation of the discussion held during the March meeting.


    • Andy Wulf shared information about the dress code in follow-up to last month’s discussion. He provided members with a copy of the School Committee’s Student Dress Code Policy which had recently been updated in January.  He also provided a copy of Hamilton Wenham’s dress code which was more similar to what had been discussed at the March meeting.   Members then engaged in a discussion about the documents.  In summary, members felt the Hamilton Wenham version addressed the gender targeting concerns as it was very specific and could be applied to everyone.  The team noted that the District policy was very vague and is  difficult to enforce.   Andy Wulf explained that he will share the discussion at the next principal meeting.  He also shared that regardless of if or when the policy is adjusted, the process for addressing a dress code violation will be done privately through the Guidance department to keep it confidential and respectful.


    • Discussed “Students in Good Standing” - Mike Testa shared this will be a part of the handbook that needs to be defined. The team discussed and decided that academic performance should not be part of the definition.  The main focus will be on outstanding discipline, obligations, and etc. 


    • Use of Artificial Intelligence: Testa shared that as of late there have been several referrals from teachers in regards to students using AI to write papers.  The Council then discussed the different software enhanced devices (AI) the students are using.  The team then had a discussion around cheating vs possible appropriate uses of AI software.  Mr. Testa said that he and Dr. Tom Abrams are working with a small group of teachers on a policy around this.  Dr. Abrams will be invited to the May Meeting


    Next Month’s meeting will be on May 16th and needs to end by 6 pm in order to attend the Academic Awards Ceremony at 6:30 pm. 




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  • Council Minutes 03-07-23

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  • March 7, 2023 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 2-14-2023

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  • February 14, 2023 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 1-10-23

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  • January 10, 2023 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 12-06-22

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  • December 6, 2022 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 11-15-22

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  • November 15, 2022 Agenda

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  • Council Minutes 10/11/22

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  • October 11, 2022 Agenda


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School Improvement Plan

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