What’s With the Changes Around Millbrook?

After 100 years Millbrook’s campus is still changing and adapting as time goes on. Continuing to make changes and improvements to the school is part of what makes Millbrook great.


After 100 years Millbrook’s campus is still changing and adapting as time goes on. Continuing to make changes and improvements to the school is part of what makes Millbrook great.

Sydney Phillips, Section Editor

As the new school year kicks off at Millbrook, students have to adjust to various changes around campus involving everything from bell schedules to late work policies. Millbrook’s new principal, Dr. Brian Saunders, is leading the charge for the new school year; students might have seen him walking around the halls or working in the office. He can also occasionally be heard making announcements over the intercom.

  One of the more recent changes around Millbrook, beginning on Monday the 19th, is the new time for morning announcements. From this point forward the end-of-the-day announcements will now be delivered during the beginning of second period. Dr. Saunders explains the change saying, “At the end of the day is not an ideal time for announcements because we have found that students are already getting geared up for what’s coming after school or they’re already off campus by then.” With the new modified schedule policy, allowing seniors to drop either a first or fourth period elective, as well as the students leaving campus each day to take classes at Wake Tech, the second period proved to be the best time to get information out to the student body. 

  Students can also expect an expansion in the daily announcements to include more information about the student body. Dr. Saunders shared his take on the importance of this, saying, “My whole intention is to make sure that our Wildcats, from number one to number 2454… know what is going on in this building because this is their school. The whole purpose of the daily announcements and the expansion of them is to inform Wildcat Nation.”

  Another change around Millbrook has to do with the morning bell schedule. While the 7:20 a.m., 7:24 a.m., and 7:25 a.m. bells will still remain in place, there is now an additional bell at 7:10 a.m. This is meant to cut down on the amount of students gathering in the junior and senior lounges before school. This change came about not to restrict students’ social life, but as a response to the large numbers of students congregating and the staff’s ability to safely supervise and monitor these areas. Dr. Duane Flowers highlighted this point, saying: “The social piece is important so we do want to give students time to have some social leave but the supervision is a challenge.” 

  Additionally, there are new changes to the late work policy that has stood for the past two years. The late work policy, as it stands, states that a student has the entire unit or three class periods to make up all work associated with that unit for full credit. Beyond those deadlines the teacher can decide whether or not to provide and alternative assignment. These changes are focused on improving students’ responsibility and ownership of their work. “Millbrook high school, like all high schools [is] expected to graduate career and college ready graduates,” Dr. Saunder explains the policy, “To be career and college ready means that you know how to meet deadlines.”

  Finally, the last change at Millbrook has to do with the tardy system. In the past students received a limited amount of tardies which reset each semester. Students will now be allowed five tardies per class that will not reset at the end of the semester. Two more things to note are two changes in enforcement regarding off-campus lunch and parking.

  First, it is important for students to remember that off-campus lunch is limited to Millbrook juniors and seniors. As the policy stands, any junior or senior looking to eat lunch off campus must have an off-campus lunch pass. If they are driving with someone else, everyone in the vehicle must also have an off campus lunch pass. Freshman and sophomores are not allowed to ride off campus or walk across the street to Sheetz. Dr. Saunders focused on some of the upsides of this policy, saying, “It’s kind of something to look forward to. We want there to be things to look forward to as you move through your highschool career.” To freshmen and sophomores who may find this policy unfair, Dr. Flowers counters by saying, “Eating in the cafeteria has huge benefits because a major portion of school is to also build that social network… it gives them a chance to build that social network, meet new friends, things of that nature.”

  For juniors and seniors who decide to take advantage of Millbrook’s off-campus lunch policy, Dr. Saunders would like to remind students that, “Everytime we step foot off of campus, whether it’s a teacher or a student, we are representing this school: Millbrook High School.”

  Second, one of the longstanding discussions at Millbrook high school has revolved around junior and senior parking privileges. Millbrook has a limited amount of parking spaces and isn’t able to accommodate every student who may want to drive themselves to and from school. Before school begins students have an opportunity to enter the parking pass lottery. Students who do not receive a parking space, however, are not allowed to park at Millbrook Exchange Park as the priority is to keep those parking spaces open to park goers. Students who choose to park in the Exchange Park anyway may be at the risk of having their car towed. As a response to students who complain about the price of the parking pass, Dr. Flowers would like to remind them that: “The price of parking is mandated by the district.” However he sympathizes with students’ frustration saying, “We’re at a place with our campus where we’re landlocked. We don’t really have the capacity to build a separate parking lot. If we had an area where we could maybe build a garage…that would be very helpful but unfortunately we don’t really have that space.”

  With all the changes happening around Millbrook, the staff has full confidence in students to be able to adjust as we go forward into this 2022-2023 school year. Dr. Saunders would like to leave Millbrook students with one final word: “We’ve got the best school around… and because we’ve been here for one hundred years we’ve had time to become excellent. We are an excellent school whether you want academics, the arts, or athletics, we’re the best.”