Mission & Expectations

A Caring Community Striving for Personal Growth and Academic Excellence

Needham High School is a community and a school partnership whose focus is learning. The curriculum, programs, and extra-curricular activities are designed and structured so that students recognize that learning is a process, understand that they are active participants in this process, and accept that they must demonstrate progress and achievement as learners. To achieve these goals, we are committed to meeting the learning needs of all students.

We believe that students should have a variety of experiences, academically and socially. We also believe that students have a responsibility to show respect and tolerance for the values and beliefs of others. As a community and a school partnership, we recognize that our primary purpose is to strengthen the bonds of unity among all our members-students, staff, administration, and parents- and to work together toward the realization of our major goals: to create excited learners, to demand excellence, and to foster integrity.


1. think effectively:
acquire, evaluate, integrate, and apply knowledge
identify and solve complex problems
think critically and reason effectively
think imaginatively and creatively
generate and evaluate ideas
apply learning to life situations
understand and apply mathematical and scientific concepts

2. communicate successfully:
vary forms of communication to meet the needs of different audiences
express ideas across disciplines
listen actively and critically
read with understanding a wide variety of materials
speak effectively
write effectively
use a variety of forms-print, media, technology, art-to gather, synthesize, and present knowledge
share information to build relationships and to promote understanding
understand and express ideas in at least one language other than English

3. contribute responsibly:
work both independently and collaboratively
demonstrate concern and caring for self, others, and the environment
respect diversity and individual differences
understand their relationship to local, national, and global communities

4. direct their own learning:
set high standards and well-defined goals
work toward achieving their goals
determine priorities and manage time effectively
evaluate their own processes and achievements
demonstrate knowledge and skills in a variety of forms
produce quality work
take responsibility for actions, decisions and behaviors


1. provide a curriculum to enable students to acquire skills necessary to meet the challenge of a complex and changing world: the Community Classroom. Program, English, Fine and Performing Arts, Health/Physical Education, Mathematics, Media, Science, Social Studies, Technical Arts, World Language.

2. maintain a Personalized Learning Center to enable students to improve study skills and to provide academic support

3. provide students with experiences that are culturally enriching

4. devise a variety of assessment strategies to evaluate student achievement

5. invest in technology

6. provide comprehensive and reliable sources of information on student development and progress

7. promote the school as a center of learning for all members of the school community

8. provide opportunities for teachers and students to experiment with new ideas for curriculum

9. provide a staff development program

10. provide opportunities for teachers to observe each other and to plan interdisciplinary activities

11. involve students and parents in planning curriculum and school activities

12. encourage development of resources within the community to enrich curriculum

13. provide an environment which encourages the school community to take risks

14. use community resources to introduce students to career possibilities

15. promote an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for all members of the school community

16. encourage a love of learning that is life long

17. encourage academic achievement

18. foster a community and school partnership that creates excited learners

19. provide an environment that values integrity

20. enable students to apply knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines in meaningful context

21. promote readiness so that students function successfully as learners

22. provide counseling services to assist students in their individual needs

23. provide school facilities appropriate to the school's philosophy and objectives