Freshman focus

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Schools plan orientations for new students

Rising freshmen have a lot to adjust to when they start high school — a new building, different scheduling, more students in their classes. But Suffolk’s public high schools are hosting orientations to help ease the transition.

During the next two weeks, each high school is inviting rising freshmen and their parents to come and learn what to expect during the next four years.

King’s Fork High School will hold its program Thursday at 5 p.m., while Nansemond River and Lakeland high schools’ events are on Aug. 18 at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.

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King’s Fork assistant principal DeBerry Goodwin said the orientation is a chance for students and their parents to get accustomed to the high school environment before school is back in session.

“We know when Sept. 6 comes, there’s going to be a lot of anxiety,” he said. “It’s giving the students a chance to get familiar with the building, meet the staff and release some of their stress.”

At the King’s Fork event, Goodwin said, administrators, guidance counselors, several ninth-grade teachers and other school staff will be there to introduce themselves and answer any questions the students or parents might have.

The orientation will feature tours of the school, information on clubs and extracurricular activities and a special parent session that will cover topics such as requirements for promotion and whom to contact with questions or issues.

He said the goal is to get students used to the new place and to inform parents about their roles during their children’s high school years.

“We want them to know we need them to be just as involved, if not more so, during high school,” Goodwin said. “No one knows the child like the parent. We can partner with the parents to help the child.”

He said he hopes all of the new students and their parents attend the event, so they can prepare before the beginning of the year.

Nansemond River will host its freshmen transition next week.

Principal Thomas McLemore said the event is a chance for both the students and parents to gather good information.

The event will start with a general information meeting, and at its completion, the group will split up to attend other sessions that cover extracurricular activities and academic requirements.

Like the King’s Fork orientation, there will also be a special meeting for the parents.

McLemore said the new freshmen are always excited to be coming to high school, and at this event, he stresses the impact of their high school careers on their futures.

“We want to emphasize to them that the next four years are very important to their futures,” he said. “We want to help you figure out what you are going to do in four years.”

Students also will be able to pick up their schedules at the Nansemond River orientation.

For more information on each school’s program, contact King’s Fork at 923-5240, Nansemond River at 923-4101 and Lakeland at 925-5790.