Towards the end of August, many incoming freshmen embarked on their new journey into the next upcoming years of high school, in which they will be attending West Bloomfield High School (WBHS). Incoming freshmen met with students in the Peer Mentorship Program at WBHS who eased them into their fresh start. Freshman Day was very helpful and useful for the incoming ninth graders since it gave them a tour of their new school. Ali Rashid, freshman at WBHS says “I thought when I came to high school it would be hard, but freshman day cooled me down.” The freshmen also got to meet hundreds of their classmates, and additionally got to meet many Peer Mentors whom they could ask all kinds of questions about their experiences at WBHS. The incoming freshmen officially started their high school journeys on the first day of school, September 2, 2014.
For three hours, the incoming freshman were able to converse with their mentors, and other students about their concerns for their freshman years. All of the freshman were split up into groups of eight students, and each mentor was assigned a group. Two freshman groups were then grouped together, overall there were two mentors per group, with sixteen freshman. As a way to get to know their classmates, the freshman all played “getting to know you” games with their groups. For many freshman, starting at a new school is terrifying; these games helped the freshman get more comfortable with their classmates, and the idea of starting high school. Lauren McDonough, freshman at WBHS says, “I liked meeting the students from Orchard Lake Middle School (OLMS) because I went to Abbott Middle School and it was just a great opportunity to be able to meet new people I will be spending the next four years with. ” After the games were played, each group was given a tour of their new school by their mentors. When asked about Freshman Day, Helene Deutch, 12th grade peer mentor at WBHS mentioned that, “I like that it gets all the freshmen involved and at the same time incorporates togetherness and makes everyone feel welcome. I like being involved also.”
Two hours into Freshman Day, all of the freshmen parents and guardians were invited to a Freshman Parent Orientation, where they were given important information about how to help their children succeed at WBHS. Both the parent and guardian orientation and the student orientation finished at the same time, and the parents and guardians met up with their students at “Cookies in the Courtyard”, where they all got to enjoy cookies while looking at all of the different clubs at WBHS. Many clubs at WBHS set up booths and handed out fliers letting freshmen know how to join their clubs. Grace Trivax, freshman, says “It feels amazing knowing that there will be people through our first year of high school that will help and support us through the difficult transition.”