“The Freshman Academy has a team of teachers, who work together with each other and the students. There is one teach for each of the core class; Mrs. Schuler for English, Mrs. Hyman for Algebra, Mr. Bachman for American History, Mr. Caminish for Science, Mr. Sallen for Spanish, as well as Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Jenkins, and Mrs. Hanson for Special Ed.” Byam explains that these teachers were put in charge of the academy because of their unique ability to build strong, lasting relations with their students. “ The purpose of the Academy is to give support to the Freshman as they transition to the high school. The transition between eighth and ninth grade is one of the hardest for students to get used to. In middle school grades seem to not matter as much, you just have to pass, but coming into high school, we want the students to be ready for that change where grades become important for their future.”
The Freshman Academy is designed to teach the students how to be responsible, and hardworking. One thing set in place to ensure this was the Freshman Focus program. The Freshman Focus program is during ninth hour, it is a study hall for all ninth grade students where they can work with their teachers on anything they need, working one on one with struggling students, and creating an easy access location for an open relationship between student and teacher. The teachers in the ninth grade academy are also in the process of arranging for older the older 10th to 12th grade students to take leadership and mentor Freshman in the need of help. Byam, ninth grade teachers, and the counselors have chosen who they believe would be good role models for the younger students, and have asked them to step up and take part in the Freshman Focus.
Another support set in place for freshman was the zap program, which works on building a strong backbone for students and makes sure that students not doing their work get discipline as well as support so they can achieve their goals. All of these things set in place give way to better results in the way the students act and treat each other as well as the teachers,= and administration later down the line as they go through 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. Mr Byam says, “Freshman year is what shapes your whole high school experience. Our ultimate goal is to set standards for how the students are expected to act early on so they can have the best four years at Boone High School that can be had.” That being said, he believes that the hard work the students put in during Freshman Focus and their classes deserves to be recognized. When goals have been met, and people work together and with the teachers during Freshman Focus, Byam arranges for other activities during that time once a week as a reward.
Byam, the counselors and freshman teachers have high hopes for the academy.
As far as they have noticed, behavior in freshman has improved, as well as attendance and grades. “ Though it is hard to say for certain so early on, things are going well in the Freshman Academy.” Principal Byam says.