Last year the high school administration took a close look at the freshman class experience. Feedback from parents, faculty and students indicated that the transition from Middle School to High School was a source of some concern and anxiety. In response to these concerns, the administration expanded the freshman orientation process extensively, and divided it into two days. In addition to the usual activities of school tours, yearbook pictures meetings with deans, and distribution of schedules, we added a number of new features:
- In order to make the first days less
hectic and confusing, freshmen had the building to themselves during
the two orientation days.
counselors were assigned to each freshman homeroom and spent most of
the first two days with their groups as well as hosting a barbecue. They
conducted question and answer sessions and performed skits that
addressed some of the issues that arise during the first few weeks of
- Freshmen had a brief
orientation to the library, where they received their passwords and
log-in information as well as instruction on how to save a document to
the network, enabling students to use the library as soon as classes
- At an assembly on Tuesday, freshmen met the student government officers, and learned about the service expectation, participation in the athletic program, extra-curricular opportunities and the upcoming club fair.
- After lunch in the cafeteria on Tuesday, students followed an abbreviated schedule of their Wednesday classes. This gave them a "dry run," and enabled them to meet their teachers and to find their way to each classroom prior to the first full day of classes.
Assistant principal Sue Peppers notes: "We anticipate that this revised orientation will help to reduce some of stress associated with transition to the high school as well as provide positive contact with upper classmen for all of our incoming freshmen. It also highlighted for freshmen the value the High School and the District places on our motto, non sibi, and the ethic of contribution."