- Public Schools of the Tarrytowns
Approximately 100 freshmen, nearly half of the Sleepy Hollow High School ninth-grade, got a taste of high school before Tuesday’s opening bell.
The students attended a two-hour Freshman Orientation on August 29 where they learned some logistics about the high school building and received advice on how to commence a rewarding high school career.
Even though most of the students moved up from Sleepy Hollow Middle School, SHHS Principal Dr. Tracy Smith determined a need existed to dedicate a day to freshman.
“The first day of high school is significant in their lives,” said Dr. Smith. “During the orientation they meet peer mentors who have gotten through this, who are successful. This is motivating and starts the year with a positive tone.”
English teacher Sarina McGough-Choi organized the activities that included a scavenger hunt. The new students searched the high school for key places and items like the nurse’s office, the students support suite and the Spirit Week Trophy outside the main office.
McGough-Choi said even though the middle and high school buildings are attached, the programs run separately. Students may only be familiar with shared spaces like hallways, music rooms and some language classes.
“I got to walk around the school and find places. It will help me the first day,” said incoming freshman Wave Waldman.
Dr. Smith and older students who are members of the Peer Mentoring Club shared advice about the expectations of high school and encouraged the students to make new friends and seek help when necessary.
The peer mentors also participate in the Freshman Experience class throughout the school year and assist the younger students with study skills, socialization and the PSAT. Club members are considering a brown bag lunch program where an upperclassman will have lunch with new student.
One piece of advice senior Andres Polanco said he wished he knew as a freshman, “It’s ok to talk about stress. I now know it is something everyone feels it”