Freshmen benefit from central location


Some freshmen come into high school intimidated by the large campus. These fears should be lessened by the new Freshmen Center.
“It makes the transition for freshmen into the high school easier when most of their classes are located in one area,” Oklahoma history teacher Scott Smith said. “It’s hard enough when you come from middle school to high school.”
The Freshmen Center will eventually be where the current West Building stands. Construction workers will renovate the North half of the West Building, so the EDGE Academy for Higher Learning will be able to reside in part of the building as well. This building will eventually be a place primarily where freshman math, English and history classes are located. Science classes will remain in the Science Building, and electives will be dispersed throughout campus.
“It’s not a matter of separation; it’s a matter of convenience for them in their classes,” principal Justin Smith said. “It’s more of a service to them, so that they don’t have to walk so far. It’s just a little better system when you have them all together.”
The Freshmen Center is currently a work in progress since there are still a few courses upperclassmen take in the building. Classes such as psychology, agriculture, technology, journalism and others are taken by students in all grade levels.
“We’re getting better every day,” assistant principal Carol Phipps said. “The goal is to put like students together. It’s not to exclude freshmen from any high school activities, but the purpose is to just put the same age kids in the same building — not for any negative reasons.”
Another goal deals with the new study skills classes and separate lunches. The separate lunches were designed so the freshmen could have study skills. The staff can now also keep a better eye on the freshmen.
A survey was taken by 45 freshmen. Seventeen out of said they do some form of work or catching up in study skills. Fourteen said they do nothing of significance while eleven had sports. Three said they have mentors come in every Wednesday. Freshmen counselor Dale Harris said study skills is a time to make up missed tests and homework. Justin Smith has called it a time for freshmen to learn things they don’t normally learn in a regular class environment. In this time period the principal wants freshmen to learn about bully-prevention, have ACT preparation, etc. and has ordered several curriculums for study skills he deems helpful to freshmen. The relationship between student and teacher is also a very important aspect to him in the study skills program.
“More than anything it’s to develop a relationship with the student and that teacher,” he said. “I think those students need someone on campus that they can go to and visit with if they have a problem.”
The mentor program is a time when two juniors of both genders come into freshemen’s study skills to help advise them about things as well as assist them in classes. The Freshmen Center, new study skills classes and separate lunches are simply to aid the freshmen in their careers as students. Some staff would agree this change is for the better.
“Anytime you have change it takes a little bit to get used to it and get into a rhythm and routine,” Scott Smith said.
Many students and teachers are getting used to the many changes occurring at the high school and look forward to the end product.