A Blue Ribbon School of Excellence
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FAQ

Is Poly's tradition of academic excellence being maintained?

Absolutely. Poly students continue to be accepted by some of the nation's most selective colleges and universities. They enter honors programs and receive millions of dollars in scholarships. Many students take advanced placement courses and perform well on the exams. SAT scores are higher than the state and national averages. Finally, after exhaustive documentation, the MSDE named Poly as a "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence."

How is the climate at the school? Are students safe?

Poly students are very safe and students, faculty, administrators, and parents work together to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment. Dr. Dehuff's words to live by (Freedom, Responsibility, Goodness, Mercy, Perseverance, and Achievement) and the Community of Caring values (Family, Trust, Respect, Responsibility, and Caring) remain important facets of the Polytechnic experience. Students whose behavior falls short of expectations face consequences that are spelled out in the student handbook.

What courses are offered at Poly?

Poly offers only college preparatory courses. The B-Course is comprised of rigorous honors courses. The A-Course includes advanced honors and advanced placement courses. A-Course students are required to complete college-level work in their senior year.

How much homework are Poly students expected to do?

Successful students report that most nights average 3 hours of homework (30 minutes per class.) However, projects and research assignments often require additional time.

How do I contact my child's teacher?

All parents are encouraged to attend Back-to-School Night where they may get contact information for specific teachers. Also, there are two scheduled conference nights per year. Parents are invited to call the school to leave messages or request conferences with individual teachers. Parents may also fill out conference request forms that are kept on the main office counter. If parents would like to confer with several teachers on the same day, they should contact the guidance counselor who can schedule parent-teacher conferences during the school day. In order to directly contact a teacher, you may email the teacher by clicking on the teacher's name under "faculty/staff" in the "Academic" section on the website.

Has the school name been changed to Poly-Western High School?

Absolutely not! The two schools only share the campus. For example, they use the auditorium on alternating days and one kitchen provides the meals served in the two separate cafeterias. However, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Western High School remain two entirely separate and distinct schools with their own histories, traditions, curricula, faculties, and student bodies.

Should freshmen play school sports?

There are many advantages to joining teams and clubs. However, parents should monitor academic performance to be sure that extra curricular activities do not compromise academic achievement. The additional difficulties posed by late afternoon transportation should also be considered.

Why do we have summer reading assignments?

There are a number of reasons. Increasingly, colleges are expecting students to be familiar with more books than can be included during the school year. Summer reading introduces Poly students to more of these books. The selections are tied to course goals and content and allow teachers to get started right from the first day of class. Also, summer reading helps Poly students remain competitive with college prep students in other top-notch Maryland public and private schools. These books help students to expand their vocabulary and explore additional issues and concepts. Finally, their thoughtful reading and analytical writing helps students to avoid the "summer drop-off" which results in the loss of skills over the summer. All summer assignments are collected at the beginning of the school year and the grades are included in quarter averages.

Must I purchase a graphing calculator?

This is highly recommended. Students will use them in class and for homework as well as on the math High School Assessments. The Mathematics Department recommends the TI 83 or the TI 83+. Since they are costly, calculators should be engraved with identification information.

Who is eligible for free transportation?

All city residents who live 1 1/2 miles from school will be given a booklet of bus tickets once each month.

Who is eligible for free or reduced price lunches?

Students who received free/reduced lunches one year will receive them for the first month of the next school year. Students must reapply each year. Applications are available in the main office. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for free/reduced lunch as such eligibility also provides other benefits such as fee waivers for SAT tests and college applications.

What are the school hours?

The school day officially begins at 8:15 when students must be seated in their homerooms or be marked late for the day. Classes are dismissed at 3:05. However, students are allowed to enter the building at 7:45 and may remain until 4:00. Only students involved in teacher-supervised activities may stay after 4:00.