Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcoming BHS's Newest Students

On Thursday, April 12th, the Guidance Department hosted a New Student Breakfast to help welcome the 15+ new students who've enrolled at BHS since mid-year.  Several student mentors from the class of 2013 were also on hand to meet and greet new students, answer their questions and help with their transition to BHS.  All BHS students are assigned mentors as freshmen, and this breakfast was held to formalize the mentor program for new students as well.  New students were assigned a mentor from the junior class with the hope that the mentoring relationship would continue through next year, if needed.

New student concerns range from getting around the building, to making friends and adjusting to new teachers.  New students feel that teachers have been helpful with assigning students in class to guide them from one class to another, but that getting lost is sometimes still an issue.  They also appreciate the technology at BHS, such as the use of Facebook and their phones, in order to stay in touch with former friends, especially at moments during the day when they may feel uncomfortable.  They did not feel that being able to reach out to old friends impeded the making of new friends.  Some new students and mentors recommended that BHS redesign its school map.

Mentors encouraged new students to reach out to them and ask any questions.  One mentor also stated encouragingly, "It gets better."  Two new students, who are English Language Learners, were provided a student translator, who will also be in touch with their respective mentors.  The students also hope to create a Facebook group to stay in touch, and it's the hope of administration that next year, BHS will implement a Welcoming Committee, an off-shoot of the mentoring program, which exists specifically for newly enrolled students.

Our newest students have enrolled from countries such as Pakistan and Brazil and from several nearby cities and towns.  They were treated to a breakfast of assorted baked goods, fruit, yogurt and beverages provided by both the Guidance Department and the BHS cafeteria.

It's the goal of the Guidance Department to help ease the transition for newly enrolled students as much as possible, and we are always open to suggestions from the students and school community as to how to continue to improve this transition.

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