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Freshman Seminar Eases Transition

Written by Sarah Groven, Lourdes High School Dean of Academics
 
A new Freshman Seminar class was introduced this year to ease the transition into high school while forming new relationships. The start of the school year can be a time of great uncertainty for freshmen. In the past, we would see freshmen at orientation, followed by periodic meetings throughout the school year. With this new opportunity, we are able to start building relationships with students early on that are consistent and worthy of their time.
 
Our class, which meets once every two weeks, so far has focused on getting to know each other and learning “how things work” in the building. Each student has been allowed to share their concerns and/or successes in a comfortable setting. It only enhances their freshman year when they know they have a safe place to share their experiences with their peers.  
 
As we continue to meet, we will talk about the counselor's role in the school and how the counseling office is available to them. This age group can never have enough supporting adults in their lives, and our office is the best place to start. Now that we are making those connections, we've already noticed an increase in student meetings and drop-in visits! We are conducting mid-quarter check-in surveys regarding grades and how things are going. The data helps us determine other ways we can support freshman as well as celebrate all of their successes!
 
As the year continues, we will be shifting our focus to their high school portfolio. It's never too early to discuss the plan after high school and to get some of those dreams off the ground. We will work through standardized testing tips and career exploration...and class registrations for next year are right around the corner!  We have creative things to look forward to as they choose their dream college, create their gratitude journal, and simply spend time getting to know themselves.