Presentation on theme: "The Secret Ingredients to Freshman Success Nicole Congine, Freshman Class Sponsor Melissa Doucet, Middle School Counselor Donna Kline, Freshman Academy."— Presentation transcript:
The Secret Ingredients to Freshman Success Nicole Congine, Freshman Class Sponsor Melissa Doucet, Middle School Counselor Donna Kline, Freshman Academy Coordinator Michelle Vaughn, Freshman Counselor
Focus Group Findings: Concerns about Transition to Ninth Grade High level of immaturity and irresponsibility Weakness in skills, such as note- taking, critical thinking, and study skills Weakness in basic skills in grammar, writing, reading, and math
Increase in number of repeaters Limited number of teachers who want to teach 9 th grade High number of disciplinary infractions (i.e. tardies, dress code, etc.) Too little communication with parents
Too little communication with middle school teachers Most 9 th graders do not understand the high school grading policy (cumulative grades as opposed to the nine-week grading period in middle school)
TLT: Transition Leadership Team Comprised of administrators, counselors, and key teachers from middle and high school Meet together monthly to discuss academic, social, and organizational transition from 8 th to 9 th grade – form an articulation agreement between feeder(s) and high school
November: 8 th Grade Parent Meeting at Middle School LA Core 4 Curriculum TOPS Value of rigorous classes EXPLORE test results (how to interpret and utilize them)
March: 8 th Grade Parent Meeting at High School Review of LA Core 4 Curriculum, TOPS Value of rigorous classes in preparing for ACT, PSAT, SAT Scheduling process for 9 th grade Showcase of extracurricular activities
March: Scheduling of 9 th grade (at middle school) Team of counselors and administrators from middle and high school (TLT) will spend one day working one-on-one with each 8 th grader to create a schedule Utilize report cards and EXPLORE results to drive decisions on taking honors classes
May: Distribution of Summer packets to 8 th Graders High school summer reading list Honors assignments for summer Sports information (LHSAA forms, summer workout schedule, etc.) List of extracurricular clubs Calendar for Freshman Orientation, Parent University, Freshman Only Day
June: Summer Bridge Class for “at-risk” students 20 hours abbreviated course to help transition for low-achievers
July: Abbreviated Education for Careers for Honors Students Two weeks prior to first day of school Open to 9 th graders who have scheduled 3-4 honors classes Held daily from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Not for credit, but will allow students to take a foreign language their 9 th grade year
July: Freshman Teachers’ Retreat review/update team expectations discuss curriculum changes plan for the upcoming school year
Late July: Freshman Orientation/ Parent University Session I Two sessions: A-K from 9:00-11:00 M-Z from 1:00-3:00 General session followed by 1) paying school fees 2) schedule and book pick-up 3) I.D.’s made Parent University sessions held in computer labs to go over JPAMS Parent Command Center, Moodle, LAePortal usage, etc.
Peer Mentoring Jr. & Sr. students apply to be a mentor in April Selected by whole faculty Arranged into teams of 5-6 mentors Teams selected by the ninth grade teachers Meet periodically in the summer to plan Freshmen Only Day
Freshmen Only Day Held from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm Activities: Icebreakers (getting to know you) Pep rally Informal talk about school rules Orientation to meet administration School Tours Run through of schedules with bells
Monthly Mentoring Sessions Embedded in the school day Second Tuesday of every month for 40 minutes Sessions: 1 st (October) Goal setting, grades, behavior, attendance tracking and learning styles inventory 2 nd (November) GPA calculations and admission requirements for colleges
Other Mentoring Benefits Plan and organize a Freshman Tailgate Additional study buddies Have a “friend” on campus Provide an extra “set of eyes” Teach the mentors leadership skills
Daily Teaming M,W,F – core area interdisciplinary teams T, Th – subject area teams – PLC work
H.E.A.T. Help Eliminate Academic Tardiness HEAT is a lunchtime detention assigned to students who miss homework assignments. Students eat a bag lunch while completing their homework.
Vertical Teaming between 8 th and 9 th grade teachers Held in spring after testing week Paid substitutes for core teachers Meet in central location for a day of working together
“Thumbs Up” meetings Held twice a month to make sure that all students on each team receive needed attention.
Homework Tips for Parents Using PSAT Results Preparing for ACT-online prep Accelerated Reader web-based version Teen issues, such as Internet safety, cyber bullying, drinking, drug use Parent University Classes
Using academic databases for research (World Book Online, EBSCO) JPAMS Parent Command Center, Moodle, LAePortal Surviving Mid-terms