The “Freshman Experience” is the journey that McEachern
High School and the McEachern Freshman Center are taking in a quest
to fully define the experience of our new ninth grade students
during their first year of high school. The journey began two years
ago and is concluding this year with the creation of an action plan
empowering students, parents, and teachers with their part in this
We are inviting everyone to join us in conversations surrounding
four key areas in the creation of our action plan:
- Advisement – How do we plan for the
success of a ninth grade student throughout a high school career?
- Articulation – How do we best communicate
the “Freshman Experience” to others and involve the McEachern
community in its fulfillment?
- Achievement – What classroom practices
offer the best academic advantages for a ninth grade student?
- Advancement – How do we intervene and
support those who are less successful OR more successful than
Meetings will begin soon, and we look forward to
everyone’s input and interest.
Mrs. Maxine Walker, Assistant Principal
- The “Freshman Experience” classroom is an active classroom with instruction that recognizes differences in students' learning rates and styles.
- The “Freshman Experience” has a theme and focus involving the qualities and ideal of success.
- The “Freshman Experience” is a period of enculturation of new ninth grade students to their peers and to John McEachern High School .
- The “Freshman Experience” is fun, with focus on social activities and the building of relationships (peer-peer; teacher-student).
- The “Freshman Experience” empowers a student to a greater sense of efficacy.
- The “Freshman Experience” instills an attitude of scholarship within a student and supports the development of this attitude.
- The “Freshman Experience” is supported by community partnership.
- The “Freshman Experience” develops life-long learning.
- The “Freshman Experience” enables students with transferable skills across all subjects.
- The “Freshman Experience” creates a freshman identity.
- The “Freshman Experience” exists within a safe and welcoming environment.
- The “Freshman Experience” is improved by effective communication both within the Freshman Center and between the Freshman Center and the community it serves.
- The “Freshman Experience” connects the classroom experience with the experiences that exist outside the classroom.
- The “Freshman Experience” is enhanced by participation in extra-curricular activities.
- The “Freshman Experience” is enhanced by mentorship of ninth grade students by adults and older student peers.
The “Freshman Experience” will look like:
A majority of classes in one location ( Freshman Center )
A “gated community”:
-Prestigious and respected – “You are someone special if you are inside this community”
-Behavior and attitude match the setting
An experience that recognizes development and transition from one school level to another
-Nurturing AND structured
A safe and positive experience that enriches everyone involved
A welcoming place that encourages involvement
Gather information about the “Freshman Experience” through orientation and other means to better participate in it
Maintain contact with the school and their student's teachers by providing accurate contact information, enrolling in I-Parent, and attending events such as Open House and 9 th Grade Advisement
Dialogue with their student about academic progress, peer interactions and relationships, and other relevant topics within the “Freshman Experience”
Define expectations clearly to both students and parents about academics and behavior
Combine rigor and relevance in the classroom to combine academic demand with practical/real world experience
Regularly communicate with parents about progress (i.e., hosted website/blog; group e-mail; telephone)
Offer instruction that matches student learning style and pace with diverse opportunities
Validate and recognize student accomplishment regularly
Develop key success skills across all academic subjects (i.e. time management; homework vs. study; ability to work with others in groups; presentation skills)
Participate fully in the “Freshman Experience” by coming to school prepared to learn (i.e., materials brought to class; homework and other preparation completed; regular and timely attendance)
Ask questions and seek information
Develop positive relationships with peers (i.e., supporting; complimentary; respectful; recognizing and appreciating differences)
Strive for success as measured by expectations set by parents, teachers and the community