OHHS helping freshmen transition to high school
WEST BRANCH — In an effort to help incoming freshmen better adjust to high school life, Ogemaw Heights High School held a transition program at the school Aug. 21-24.
According to Jeremiah Peace, who teaches at the school and helped come up with the program, the activities at OHHS are aimed at preparing students for all aspects of making the transition to high school.
“Basically, it’s a transition program,” Peace said. “This is the first year we’ve tried anything like this. We weren’t too sure how it would turn out, but it’s been a positive experience for the kids.”
Unlike a traditional freshman orientation, which OHHS is scheduled to hold Aug. 28, this program is aimed at getting a smaller group of students together to give them a little more hands-on approach.
“It’s such a transition for these students,” Peace said. “It can be overwhelming for these kids when you get all of them into a room for an orientation. Some of them need a little more help than others when they’re making the transition.”
Peace said they’ve had around 25 students a day participate in the program.
“We were kind of nervous the first day because we didn’t know how many kids would show up,” Peace said. “It was kind of slow at first, but more of them started showing up and we had a good amount of students show up.”
Peace said the idea for this transition program came from his sister, who works at the University of Michigan.
‘They do a similar thing down at the University of Michigan to help incoming freshman adapt to college,” Peace said. “My sister works there and she was telling me about the program and she asked me why we don’t do something like that here. I thought it was a great idea, so that’s how we came up with the program.”
During the program, Peace said the kids have done things like academic orientations, gone swimming at the school pool and participated in a school-wide scavenger hunt.
He said the winners of the scavenger hunt were rewarded by having the winners paint a rock outside the school for the class of 2016.
“We’re trying to get the point to them to take ownership of their time in high school,” Peace said. “We want them to want to be involved in school. We’re hoping to see a huge impact for these students.”
He said the program has been successful with the support and donations from many local businesses and organizations, including Ace Hardware, Tanger Outlet Center, Whit’s End, St. Vincent DePaul and Mrs. D’s Driving School.
“We have great support from the local businesses and organizations,” Peace said. “We just want to thank them for all of their help.”