Rising freshmen transition to new school, new year

June 11 began the three-day freshman transition camp for the 2019-20 school year at Cedar Shoals. The purpose of this camp is to get students acclimated to their new high school environment.

“Our desired outcome of this camp is the hope that ninth graders feel more comfortable when school starts in August, and the idea is that they get acclimated and build relationships with teachers and counselors ahead of time,” said Ms. Ariel Gordon, freshman counselor and department chair.

Students participated in activities such as a design challenge centered around team building, note-taking for high school classes, and a tour of Cedar Shoals.   

“The activities have been group building and I’ve learned how to communicate with my new classmates,” said Ella Barkdoll, a rising ninth grader.

For other campers, the activities helped to ease worries.

“It made me see how it’s not that scary, just the same people, and just a little bigger campus,” said Samantha Mifflin, an incoming freshman.

Another focus of the camp is for students from Hilsman and Coile middle schools to get a chance to know each other before the school year begins.

“I think the camp is good to get the eighth graders into the school and familiarize with hat it’s like in the classes, to work together and try and break down Hilsman vs, Coile, and get a taste of what the classes will be like next year,” said Ms. Brittany Moore a ninth grade English teacher.

During the camp, upperclassmen mentored the incoming freshmen to make their transition easier.

“What I wanted to get out of this camp was to find a mentee and see the new faces coming into Cedar,” said Mounina Ba, 11th grade.

To Moore, students  showed progress throughout the camp.

“Kids are working together. I see them starting to collaborate and use inquiry in the class I am teaching, and they all have been very respectful,” said Moore.

As another successful transition camp comes to a close, there is still always room for improvement.

“I want to up the fun factor each year,” said Gordon.

“I think the camp would be more successful if we had more students and teachers attend or if we could go on a fun field trip with the students,” said Moore.