Lexington High School (Massachusetts)

Lexington High School (Massachusetts)

Infobox Secondary school
name = Lexington High School
type = Public
city = Lexington
state = MA
country = USA
established =
accreditation = New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Massachusetts State Department of Education
principal = Natalie Cohen
grades = High school (9-12)
enrollment = 1,987 (2007-08) [cite web | title = Lexington High School Profile | url = http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/lhsprofile.html]
mascot = Minutemen
colors = Blue and Gold
newspaper = "The Musket"
website = [http://lhs.lexingtonma.org lhs.lexingtonma.org]

Lexington High School is a public high school located in Lexington, Massachusetts. It has grades 9-12. The school's mascot is the Minuteman.

In 2003, Lexington was rated the 171th best high school in the country by Newsweek. It also appeared on the 2005 (302nd), 2006 (448th), and 2008 (466th) lists. It did not appear on the 2007 list. [cite web | title = America's Top Public Schools | url = http://www.newsweek.com/id/39380/?q=2003/rank/1/&s=Lexington+MA] In 2008 it was ranked by the Boston Globe as one of the top three high schools in the state.Fact|date=June 2008

Building Plan

Lexington High School has its facilities divided into 4 buildings.

The Arts and Humanities building contains the bulk of the following departments: English, Social Studies, Fine and Performing Arts, and Physical Education. It also has the Donald J. Gillespie, Jr. Auditorium, the Ralph Lord Gymnasium, and a fieldhouse. Commons I and Commons II are used as cafeterias and meeting places. The library and the main administration office are also in this building. Thus, the Arts and Humanities building is frequently called the "main" building by many students. The gym, locker rooms, etc. are numbered in the 900s. Other rooms in the Arts and Humanities building are numbered by floor, 100s for the first floor and 200s for the second floor.

The Science building contains the Science department. The building contains the "Science Lecture Hall" (SLH), which has many purposes, and is used for, among other things, math competitions and detentions. Because detentions are always held in the SLH, most of the chairs and tables have been scarred by etchings and markings containing content of a mostly inappropriate nature. Rooms are numbered by floor, 300s for the first floor and 400s for the second floor.

The Foreign Language building contains the Foreign Language and the Health Education departments, and rooms are numbered by floor, 500s for the first floor and 600s for the second floor.

The Math building contains the Math department, as well as the LABBB program, and rooms are numbered by floor, 700s for the first floor and 800s for the second floor.

The "quad" is a outdoor common area. It is bounded by the Main building (on two sides), the Science building, and a covered walkway between the Science building and the Foreign Language building.


In the 1980s, there was a movement to give students a bigger voice within the school. Soon enough a new school constitution was ratified, creating a new school Student/Faculty Senate. The Senate allots to the teachers and the students the power to make decisions about the implementation of policies within the school.

The philosophy behind the creation of the Senate (as quoted from the senate constitution [cite web | title = Lexington (MA) High School Senate | url = http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/senate/constitution.html] ) is as follows: Quotation | All members of the school community should have a meaningful voice in determining the policies of the school, in promoting a positive school climate, and in shaping the future of the school. It is essential that each member be kept informed through effective communications and have the power to influence decisions made at Lexington High School. For this purpose the Lexington High School Senate is established.

The Senate is not without its checks and balances, though. The school principal has veto power over the decisions of the Senate, but the Senate can choose to override the principal's veto with a three-fourths supermajority vote.

The Senate is made up of two elected groups, namely, staff representatives and student representatives. The faculty representatives are chosen at large, one representative for every ten high school staff, with the stipulation that at least one representative is elected from each of the various departments. Student representatives are elected one representative for every 50 members of the student body. The number of student representatives is determined annually based on current enrollment in grades 8-11, and then divided among the classes per the school constitution. Student representatives allotted to a class are elected by that class at large.

Up to five seats are open for students to represent under-represented groups. Said groups must petition the Senate for such representation.

Class Schedule

Classes begin at 7:45 AM and end at 2:25 PM (except for Wednesdays, when classes begin at 8:30 to allow for LHS Senate meetings). A 35 minute buffer block was created to allow students on school teams to meet with teachers before attending team meetings. Sports teams are not allowed to begin practice until 3:00 PM.


Lexington High School offers a wide variety of courses for its students. [cite web | title = Lexington High School Curriculum Overview | url = http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/lhscurr.html]

Credits at Lexington High School are usually awarded, 1/4 credit per block-per-week per quarter. That is, a full-year, 4 block-per-week course will usually earn 4 credits. A half-year, 4 block-per-week course will usually earn 2 credits. A quarter-long, 2 block-per-week course (such as a gym course) will usually earn 1/2 credit. Hypothetically, a full-year class that meets only once a week will earn 1 credit.

Lexington High School operates on a block schedule containing 32 blocks per week, with classes between 45 and 55 minutes long. The blocks are organized in eight groups of four, assigned letter designations from A to H.

Most English, math, science, social studies and foreign language classes are worth 4 credits, as classes in these departments usually meet during one of these groups of blocks.

As there are 32 blocks per week, most schedules will achieve up to 32 credits. There are some exceptions. For example, some (if not all) of the jazz ensembles meet after school, and it is worth 4 credits. Students taking this can achieve 36 credits. Usually, partial credit will not be given for completing part of a class.

Lexington High School requires that all seniors maintain a schedule of at least 26 credits. Sophomores, and juniors are required a schedule of at least 27 credits. Freshmen are required a schedule of at least 28 credits (and it is recommended that freshmen take no more than 30 credits).

In order to graduate, students who attend LHS for all four high school years must complete the following:
*104 total credits, including the subject requirements listed below
*40 hours of community service
*Pass the MCAS exams in ELA (English and Language Arts) and Mathematics (This is a requirement of all Massachusetts schools.)


Students are required to accumulate 16 mathematics credits by graduation time.


Students are required to accumulate 18 science credits by graduation time.


Students are required to accumulate 16 English credits by graduation time.

ocial Studies

Students are required to accumulate 16 social studies credits by graduation time.

Foreign Language

Students are required to accumulate 8 foreign language credits by graduation time.

Fine and Performing Arts

Many arts classes are worth 2 credits, meeting four times a week for a semester; and many are worth 4 credits, meeting four times a week for a full year.

Lexington High School has been renowned for its award-winning music program which includes: six a cappella groups; two bands (wind ensemble and symphonic band); two orchestras (honors and repertoire); and three choir groups. The jazz program includes a renowned jazz ensemble, a big band, a combo, and a septet. In August 2004, Lexington high school was invited to perform at the Edinburgh festival in Scotland.

The music program is under the direction of several faculty members, including: Jeffrey Leonard, a wind and jazz specialist and a Berklee graduate; Justin Aramati, a wind and jazz specialist and a New England Conservatory graduate; Brian O'Connell, a choral music specialist and a former conducting professor in the Boston Conservatory; Janet Haas, a string specialist throughout the Lexington Public Schools; and Dr. Walter Pavasaris, the fine and performing Arts coordinator and a string conductor renowned throughout New England. [cite web | title = Lexington Department of Fine and Performing Arts | url = http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/Dept/FineArts/index.html]

Students are required to accumulate 8 fine and performing arts credits by graduation time.

Physical Education

Most physical education classes are worth 0.5 credits, as they are scheduled to meet twice a week for one quarter.

Students are required to accumulate 6 physical education credits by graduation time.

Health Education

There are only two classes in this department: Adolescent Health Issues I, taken mostly by freshmen; and Adolescent Health Issues II, taken mostly by juniors. Both classes are worth 1 credit, as both classes meet twice a week for a semester.

Students are required to accumulate 2 health education credits by graduation time. Thus, students must take both Ad. Health I and Ad. Health II to graduate.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Guidance Seminars


Debate Team

Lexington High School's policy debate team has won the State Championship for the last 31 yearsFact|date=February 2007. In April 2007, the Public Forum team from LHS, Team Scorpion, composed of seniors Chrissy Kugel and Garth Goldwater won the National Championship at the Tournament of Champions.

cience Teams

Lexington High School's National Ocean Sciences Bowl team won the National competition between 1998 and 2002, the first five years of the competition's existence.

Math Team

Lexington High School's math team is widely renowned for its successes. "For more on Lexington High School's math team, see Math Teams in Lexington Public Schools (Massachusetts)"

chool Sports

ports Opportunities

Lexington High School offers the following sports [cite web | title=Athletics Department | url=http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/Dept/PE/] :

* Football: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
* Soccer: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Boys' Freshman, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity, Girls' Freshman
* Field Hockey: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
*Swimming: Girls' Varsity
* Cross Country: Boys' Varsity, Girls' Varsity
*Volleyball: Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity, Girls' Freshman
*Golf: Co-ed Varsity
*Cheerleading: Football, Soccer

*Basketball: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Boys' Freshman, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity, Girls' Freshman
* Ice Hockey: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity
*Wrestling: Varsity, Junior Varsity
* Indoor Track: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity
*Swimming: Boys' Varsity
*Cheerleading: Co-ed Basketball/Ice Hockey

*Baseball: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
*Softball: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
*Lacrosse: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Boys' Freshman, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity, Girls' Freshman
* Outdoor Track: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity
*Tennis: Boys' Varsity, Boys' Junior Varsity, Girls' Varsity, Girls' Junior Varsity

In addition, Lexington High School has an Ultimate Frisbee club.


Lexington High School sports teams have received the following accolades:
*Boy's Swimming and Basketball have recently been awarded the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's "sportsmanship award" for 2007-2008.Fact|date=June 2008
*The cross-country team was undefeated from 2000–2006.Fact|date=June 2008
*The Lexington High School Boys swim team has won the Middlesex League Championship for the last ten years in addition to many other league titles, making it the second most successful Lexington High School sports team.Fact|date=June 2008
*The LHS Boys Indoor Track team won the Massachusetts Division I State Championships in 2006 and repeated in 2007. In 2007, the Lexington Boys outdoor track team captured both the Division I State Championship and the All-State Championship.Fact|date=June 2008

Other Facts

In 2005, Fred Phelps, of Topeka, Kansas and his church protested the Lexington High School graduation because of the school's support of its gay-straight alliance.

The LABBB program, a special education program serving mentally retarded students from surrounding towns; Lexington, Arlington, Burlington, Belmont and Bedford is renowned for its emphasis on real world skills for the mentally handicapped.

Notable alumni

*Eugene Mirman, comedian
*Ron Lee, former NBA Basketball player (1977-82)
*Rachel Dratch of Saturday Night Live
*Ethan Zohn of
*Amanda Palmer of the duo The Dresden Dolls
*Lev Grossman, writer and contributor to Time Magazine
*Tom Silva, general contractor and on-screen personality for This Old House

Notes and references

External links

* [http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/ Official website]
* [http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/Dept/PE/viewnews.cgi]
* [http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/06/05/antigay_pickets_raise_ire/ On Phelps protesting]
* [http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/senate/index.html The Student/Faculty Senate Website]
* [http://www.greatschools.net/modperl/browse_school/ma/912 Great Schools.net profile]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=251+Waltham+Street+Lexington+MA&ll=42.443688,-71.231672&spn=0.003927,0.010536&t=k Google Map]

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