Freshman Orientation Re-envisioned

     This school year, Fenwick has implemented many new programs and activities to help freshmen assimilate into the school. The orientation for the incoming Class of 2023 was redesigned to help freshmen build community before the first day of classes.

     On the first day of orientation, from 7:45 to 11:20 a.m., all freshmen went through their schedule with 20-minute classes. Afterwards, they were placed into nine groups of about 30 students each, and the groups rotated through three sessions on a variety of topics, including technology safety, time management, organization, digital citizenship, plagiarism and academic expectations. Freshmen rotated through the rest of these sessions on the second day of orientation.

     A new program, the “Shield,” has been a big part of this new orientation. Led by Ms. Power and Ms. Visteen, the Shield aims to help freshmen adjust to the new high school environment. Juniors and seniors in the Shield act as mentors to a group of three to four freshmen throughout the year.      

     Both teachers and students have seen positive changes because of this new orientation. 

     When asked about orientation, English teacher Ms. Wang said, “I think it was better than the last two years! I see a lot of smiling faces in the hall, and last year I think freshmen were very overwhelmed.” 

     Both Ms. Visteen and Dr. Quaid have stated that they have seen a significant drop in the percentage of students that need help with either technology or books, and they believe freshmen have had a smoother transition than in previous years. 

     When asked about her orientation experience, Freshman Izabella Ibarra states, “I personally loved orientation. It was a very special experience, and it helped to learn the layout of the school. I got to meet new people.” 

     The Class of 2023 will participate in team-building and informational sessions wih their Shield mentors throughout the school year.