Freshman transition to high school holds unique challenges with changes to school year caused by COVID-19

Freshman transition to high school holds unique challenges with changes to school year caused by COVID-19

HiLite Staff

The prevalence of COVID-19 and the dangers it posed to CHS caused the school district to transition to online learning in March. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb then decided to not allow schools in Indiana to return to school for the 2019-20 school year in order to best protect public health. Holcomb later put plans into place over the summer to reopen Indiana in a five-stage plan, but despite the slow return to normalcy, the transition for new freshmen to the high school will present unique challenges when compared to previous years. We commend the school for thinking of alternative plans to help freshmen feel at home in the high school and believe that they should continue to think of innovative ways to help the freshmen adjust to the high school life.

The transition from middle to high school is difficult for freshmen in any year, and the situation from COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult for incoming freshmen to get involved with the school. The virtual Frosh Rock organized by administration was a great step in the right direction in terms of getting freshmen thinking about what CHS has to offer. According to Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton, Frosh Rock was typically an opportunity to get students in the building a second time to continue to familiarize themselves with the space, but due to COVID-19, administration decided to change it to a virtual slideshow of various clubs in order to still be able to get information out about the various clubs to help freshmen join these communities once the upcoming school year starts.

Another initiative we commend is providing freshmen with the opportunity to experience touring around the school. Greyhound Kickoff and orientation were both vital in making sure that freshmen feel at home at CHS come the first day of school whilst maintaining proper safety protocols. While those who chose to return to school in person are able to get the feel of being a part of the Carmel High School family, the staff recommends that virtual GKOMs offer virtual tours or discussions to  help those attending school online due to high risk feel more included.

Lastly, because freshmen did not completely finish their middle school years, the transition into high school is even more important. Typically this academic transition is not quite as jarring but this year’s freshmen might need more academic support. Additional resources, such as online tutoring or programs, provided to freshmen regarding studying in high school may be helpful to ease the transition and potential academic struggles.

Due to the various and immense benefits the programs enacted by the administration have for helping the freshman transition to the high school, we commend them for their foresight and initiative and hope they will consider a couple of additional measures.

Click here to read about Carmel Clay Schools’ COVID-19 protocols. Refer to the link to find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).