View Mobile Site

Back to school

NCHS helps freshman adjust to high school

Posted: August 20, 2013 5:38 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2013 5:00 a.m.

North Central High School (NCHS) gave a special welcome to its freshman this year.

In fact, it’s been saying a special hello to its freshman for the last five years, Principal Worth Thomasson said.

Each year, on the second day of school, a handful of NCHS’s best and brightest help meet and greet freshman in order to help them get acclimated, NCHS-style.

Freshman Assistant Principal Rose Montgomery selects about 10 students from each grade to help address concerns typical to first-year high school students. Each summer the upperclassman chosen to help welcome the students get together and plan a day full of informative-entertainment. Seasoned NCHS students talk to freshman about everything from the dress code to how to deal with bullying, should it occur. The orientation is on the second day of school each year, so that teachers are able to set the tone of their classroom on day one, Montgomery said.

Each year, the program gets a little better, junior Will Mathis, 16, said. Morgan Kelley, 15, a sophomore, said it’s good for freshman to have an example. Both students said they are glad they can share the “Dos and Don’ts” and there subsequent consequences with the new high school students.

Because NCHS students take control of the day’s events, Montgomery said freshman get a better understanding of what they will encounter in the next four years from their own peers.

The freshmen even received a gift: each of the 130 freshmen received a “Class of 2017” T-shirt. A new class happened, too, that will be used as the first photo in their senior photo slide show. The class photo is just the first step in helping them to get excited about walking across the stage in four years, Thomasson said.

“We hope that they form a bond with some of the upperclassmen and see themselves in some of the older students. We want them excited about graduation and we want 100 percent of them to graduate,” he said.

Thomasson and the NCHS staff are steadily working toward that 100 percent graduation rate. Last May, NCHS’ graduation rate stood at 86 percent; seven years ago, it was only 60 percent, Thomasson said. Thomasson said good teaching, paying more attention to individual student needs and keeping students engaged and enjoying their high school career has been critical in increasing the school’s graduation rate. Getting students engaged early during their freshman year is the goal of the freshman orientation, he said.

On Tuesday, freshman took a tour of the entire NCHS campus, met with all of the administration, participated in several student-led sessions on topics such as attendance and time management, and a session led by Montgomery on NCHS policies and procedures, Thomasson said. Students also created posters for their first pep rally and took photos in a photo booth to commemorate the second day of their first year at NCHS.

Kershaw County School District (KCSD) began its 2013-14 school year Monday and despite one or two setbacks, the first day of school went well, according to KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan.

Morgan said he worked the switchboard at the district office from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday to address the usual first-day of school concerns, but only received two phone calls.

“It takes hundreds of people for several months to get school to open as smoothly as it did, even with the curve balls Mother Nature has thrown us,” Morgan said.

Although there was rain -- enough to cause a part of Wildwood Lane behind Lugoff-Elgin High School to collapse and select rooms at Lugoff Elementary School (LES) to produce mold -- buses ran on time, Morgan said.

He said there was additional traffic, but that most parents like to drop their kids off on the first day.

Enrollment is below projection currently, but is expected to be right on target by Labor Day, Morgan said. Until then, KCSD administrators will look at the “bubbles” to determine where they may need to reallocate and/or hire new teachers. LES teachers went back to work preparing their classrooms on Tuesday in preparation for their first day of school on Thursday. Their kindergarten orientation was rescheduled for today at 6 p.m.

(More Back to School fun is coming in Friday’s edition of the C-I and on our website.)

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...