GREAT BARRINGTON - Life could look a lot different for students and staff at Monument Mountain Regional High School, after the school received a grant from Mass IDEAS to re-imagine its educational structure.

Principal Kristi Farina says one of the major changes will be switching to an academy model allowing for more collaboration and continuity for students.

“They spend a period in English, and then they go to a period in Science, and things don’t necessarily feel connected. If we shift to this, we’d like to see more interdisciplinary work and more project-based opportunities for students," Farina said. 

The new model would include an increased emphasis on advisory time for students. Farina says the daily schedule will have to be changed to accommodate the approach.

“We do know we want to allot time for the advisory block. We think things will be scheduled in a way where we will have blocks of times," Farina said.

Other changes include more focus on student wellness and a re-vamped physical education curriculum. Superintendent Peter Dillon says there are already groups working on new wellness goals.

Dillon said, "That’s teachers and students, and parents and community members, and that group is actually chaired by a student. So we’re not paying lip-service to it, students are actually taking on significant leadership roles.”

The full re-design won’t be implemented until the fall of 2021, but Farina says the coronavirus pandemic has allowed them to start rolling out some new ideas now.

Farina said, “With school closures, we did some re-structuring to try to pilot some of the team approach, and we’re intending to do more of that as we move into the fall.”