Medfield High School Italy trip…day 5

After several days in Florence, we packed up and headed south for Rome.  First stop today was a visit to the town of Orvieto.  This town set high above the cliffs in southwestern Umbria, was once conquered by Julius Caesar and later fell under papal control.  The town is now home to approximately 20,000 residents.  We had the opportunity to have lunch in Orvieto and spend several hours exploring this beautiful hilltop city.




The Cathedral of Orvieto was an amazing structure built in the 1500’s.




Tomorrow, we’ll explore ancient Rome.

Medfield High School Italy trip, day 4

Our last day in Florence was fantastic.  We started our day at the world famous Galleria Uffizi home of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s Holy Family among others.  The students enjoyed time in this three story collection of treasured art work.DSC00520.jpgDSC00519.jpg

After lunch, we walked across the bridge to the Pitti Palace, the former palace once owned by the Medici family.  The palace was also used at different times by Napoleon and King Victor Emmanuel III.  There is a beautiful garden on the grounds which provides an incredible view of Florence.DSC00545.jpgDSC00557.jpg

Dinner was once again unbelievable, pasta, beef, roasted potatoes and dessert.  The restaurant, Osteria dei Baroncelli was located right off of della Signoria Plaza.  After dinner, we had some time in the square where the kids played hackey sack (a regular occurrence for many of the boys) and of course, more dessert!DSC00580.jpgDSC00586.jpg

Tomorrow, we head south to Rome with a stop in the town of Orvieto.

Medfield High School Italy trip…day 3


We enjoyed our first full day in Florence.  Wake up call at 7am, breakfast at the hotel at 7:45, then off for a walking tour of historic Florence.  We saw il Duomo, the Baptistery of St. Giovanni then walked down to the Arno River.DSC00489 (1).jpg


DSC00495.jpgThe highlight of the morning was the visit to the leather and jewelry store.  We saw a demonstration of local craftsmanship and the students got to witness the details that go into this skill/craft/art.  The visit included a fashion show where yours truly had the opportunity to participate (pictured here with Allie Newlon).DSC00504.jpg

After lunch, we had the opportunity to visit the L’ Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of David.

DSC00506.jpgThe day was capped off with another traditional Italian meal at Casa Toscana, located in the historic district.  Tomorrow brings another full day in Florence.


Medfield High School Italy trip…Days 1 & 2

Ciao from Florence, Italy!  I’m pleased to report that we’ve had two great days traveling from Medfield to Boston to Charlotte, NC, to Rome and finally to Florence.  I believe we’re all a bit jet lagged and sleepy as we check in for the night.  Our journey started on Thursday morning, 45 students and 7 chaperones (#52strong).  Here is a photo as we were departing  Charlotte:


Our 9 hour flight to Rome was delayed a few minutes, we landed at 9:50am, Italy time.  Some of us slept on the overnight flight, some didn’t, some read while others did school work.  After checking through customs in Rome, we met our tour guide Giuliana who has been fantastic!  At 11:30am, we started our journey three hours north to Florence.  We stopped for lunch along the way indulging in our first Italian meal.  We arrived in Florence, checked into the hotel then regrouped for dinner.  We had a great meal, pasta with meat sauce, pork, roasted potatoes, salad and topped it all off with desert.DSC00467.jpg

Before and after dinner, we walked around the beautiful city of Florence. DSC00457.jpg




Unbelievable architecture!  Curfew, 10pm tonight then tomorrow is a full day here in Florence.  Ciao!


Over the past several weeks, our students and their parents have had discussions regarding course selections for the next school year.  There are many factors to consider, including: which levels to take, electives, extracurriculars, after-school jobs, internships, and social interests.  The right balance is important in order to create what we often refer to as the well-rounded student. With this in mind, I started to give thought to what a well-rounded school should look like.

I’m often asked, What is the right balance for a high school student?  This varies from student-to-student (and it should!).  We want our kids to have a schedule that meets their individual needs and interests.  At Medfield High School, we review our course offerings each year.  This process starts with meetings I have with each content specialist (department head) to review the courses offered.  We look at course sign-up data, identify trends and discuss possible new courses that might be of interest to our students.  At times, we have removed courses which we’ve determined to be no longer relevant or those that students have shown little interest in.  These courses have included Keyboarding, Desktop Publishing, Introduction to Drama, and Television/Video Production, among others.  With that in mind, we’ve replaced some of the above-mentioned courses with new electives, courses such as Ballroom Dance, Introduction to Guitar, Video Production, Clay Art Studio, Activities for Life, and App Development. This does not represent the entire list of courses removed or new courses offered in the MHS Program of Studies.  What it does represent is our concerted effort to develop a range of courses that meets the needs of all learners AND to provide opportunities for students to blend core academic courses with other areas of interest.  MHS Guidance Content Specialist Stephanie Worthley said, “We are pleased to offer a variety of classes for students to explore interests outside of their requirements.  We also want students to take courses that are fun and can provide some stress relief during the day.”

Many of our students take an array of Honors and AP courses.  The AP courses in particular can help develop skills and be good preparation for the amount of work (and time management) expected at the college level.  We monitor the number of AP’s our students take because we believe finding the right balance in what we offer is important.  In addition to a schedule that is both challenging and exciting, we want students at MHS to have time to participate in theatre, music, athletics and clubs.  These programs all play a vital role in providing our students with different ways to demonstrate their many talents.  It’s important that we continue to keep the well-rounded school in mind as move forward.

Comments?  Feel free to share your thoughts with me on Twitter @MedfieldHS or email at




Senior captains John Maclean, Matt Treiber, and Nigel Reiff

The weekend of March 19-20 proved to be exciting for Medfield High School.  Our Jazz Band won the Gold Medal at the All-State finals and earned a spot in the big concert that will take place on May 15th at the Hatch Shell.  And congrats to our Boys Hockey team for winning the state championship for the first time in school history!  The game took place at TD Garden and junior Faith Samson delivered an amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  #warriorpride


Junior Faith Samson