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 Freshmen Transition

The Freshman Transition
By: Quinn Byrd

            In schools all around there is a wide group of students who are dropping out because they have failed core classes. Their futures are being crushed by the decision to give up so early or even at all. At this time in a student’s freshman year of high school they are finding that they are struggling with a few common things: behavior, underachievement, social and personal problems, and missing school. Schools needed to find ways to keep their young students in school and on the way to becoming the great young adults they should have the chance to be.

            For the transition some of our very own from Live Oak High: Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Cobb, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Knight, and Mrs. Gates are responsible for writing the grant proposing the plans and ideas for freshman transition. The goal for the grant was to help freshman have a successful transition and to help improve literacy skills. The grant also was for 58,000 dollars every year for a period of three years.

            The freshman initiative team includes the five who wrote the grant plus the following Live Oak faculty members: Mrs. Aucoin, Mrs. Spears, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. McRae, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Griffitt, and Mr. Collier. The team looks at model schools that have started to deal with similar freshman transition programs. When the team goes to each model school to observe how things are done they have a few questions that they ask the staff at the school and look to answer:

  1. What transition strategies is the school using for incoming freshman?

  2. What is the school doing to prevent drop-outs? Do you see this as a problem in the school?

  3. What is the school doing to improve literacy skills?

  4. What is the most important factor in determining future success?

  5. What is the school doing to help at-risk freshman? Do you see a need for this in your school?

  6. What does the school do to discourage absenteeism?

Live Oak High started the freshman transition this year 2007-2008 working towards a better school and ideas for the young freshman. This orientation this year was more detailed and they had the freshman play games, such as a scavenger hunt to get use to the school and there surroundings. Live Oak is also using the adviser program and mentoring program as tools, the students can go to there adviser for anything that they may need help with. And the mentoring program is where the upper classmen actually step in and help out with studying and different things and get the freshman used to the difference in high school and middle school.

Recently at the end of October a few team members went to model schools to see

how things were going and working out. At different schools some things work and some things do not. It all depends on what type of school it is for how things will work. In February more team members will be visiting another set of model schools. Live Oak is researching and trying to find out what will work best at Live Oak High and with the freshman here in Watson. The team will continue to change and add new things to the school and the curriculum for the freshman to promote an exciting home for the new learners at Live Oak High.

            As a senior of Live Oak High I am seeing all the great improvements that are occurring at our school. They are doing great and things seem to be working out the way they had planned. The schools should have thought of this earlier for students who are now upper classmen and struggling or students who didn’t make it. The transition is hard from middle school to high school without the help needed, a student is most definitely more at risk to get off task, get behind, and fail. But, I wonder how things will be for the seniors transitioning into college and if not college the work place. I some what think that more attention should be given to the seniors who are going off on their own where things won’t be so “easy” par say. It would be a great idea to focus on the changes that the seniors have to make, as well as the freshman. Maybe in the future, schools will instill a similar program for seniors as well as they have for the freshman.   


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