The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 12, 2008


Freshman Orientation Day at CCHS a success

As part of the freshman orientation experience at Concord-Carlisle High School, incoming freshmen participate in team-building activities like tug-of-war, led by volunteer upperclassmen. (Photo by Mollie McPhee Ho)

A year ago, Concord-Carlisle High School revamped its Freshman Orientation Day. CCHS Science teacher Brian Miller, with a group of upperclassmen, changed the agenda from a half day “meet your teachers” routine, to a full day of planned team-building activities, a barbecue and a scavenger hunt. The new program allows kids to break up into roughly 14-person groups. As freshman Andrew Chen put it, “We did things that involved teamwork and cooperation. It was definitely worthwhile.” Campbell Hart said, “It was really well done.”

Each group of kids has two upper-class student leaders and activities are run by teachers. The groups rotate through a variety of ice-breaking and trust-building activities. Sarah Williams said, “We played bonding games. All were pretty good. We got to know each other in our group.” Abbay McCandless agreed, “I loved it! I liked the activities.” She also said she liked the upperclassmen that were leaders for her group. “They were all very nice.” “I thought it was a lot of fun,” declared Amelia Cox.

Getting to know the other freshmen in the small group was an important part of the day. Drew Andre put it this way, “The kids in my group are my first new friends at the high school. I will recognize them and I won’t feel so alone tomorrow.” Amelia Cox pointed out, “It was nice to meet some people because we [freshmen from Carlisle] are a wicked small percentage of the high school.” Several freshmen said it would be good to see these familiar faces in the hallways. The leaders in Alex Horvath’s group were seniors. Alex added, “It was good to meet these seniors and hear about the school from them.”

The scavenger hunt was designed to have the freshmen learn their way around the high school. Meg Parson said, “I could have used a little more guidance for [this part.]” Alex Horvath said, “It was really hard because we didn’t know where we were going.” Larry White agreed, “I wish we had more time touring the school.” Andrew Chen explained, “It is a dramatic change from middle school. Everything about the high school is a lot bigger and there’s a lot more people.” But all agreed that they now know their way around much better. Also, they met all their teachers. Alex Horvath found his teachers very nice. Drew Andre said, “I met my teachers. They are really cool, and some are funny.”

Orientation Day takes the jitters out of starting high school for many of these kids. “I was nervous before and this was very helpful,” said Amelia Cox. Sarah Williams added, “I feel a lot more comfortable.” Everyone asked was very positive about the orientation experience. Larry White said, “I’m pretty excited about going to the high school.” And that is exactly the point of having a Freshman Orientation Day.

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito