Class of 2021 will take freshman seminar

Mary Grace Theis, Newspaper Reporter

Out with the old and in with the new. Next year, all freshmen will be required to take the one-semester Freshman Seminar, designed to help them acclimate to campus life.

Mrs. Soriya Nelson, Ms. Melissa Downs, and Mr. Daniel Bouchard will teach the course. Although many things are still to be determined, the leaders of this course are very excited to help the class of 2021.

“The administration really listens to the counselors, the students, and the parents, and it had been expressed to us that there was a need to help students with a smoother transition between 8th grade and 9th grade,” Mrs. Nelson said. “We are following what a lot of colleges do because there is another jump from being a high school senior and a college freshman, so lots of colleges are adopting this kind of transition course.”

Mrs. Nelson said that staff members frequently come up with new ideas.

“They bring their best ideas, just like the students, and they bring the best parts of the culture to John Paul,” Mrs. Nelson said. “We try to latch on to some of the best ideas we can to improve our school.”

There was a need, socially and academically, for freshmen who were struggling.

“The main goal is to make sure that all of our students have the skills to be successful,” Mr. Bouchard said. “So that they can really just grow and continue to develop their skills.”

Ms. Downs said she thinks the course will increase freshman confidence.

“It will give them an opportunity to adjust and figure out how to balance it all,” Ms. Downs said. “An opportunity to balance their time, their service, and their conflicts.”

The seminar will use in-class assignments and no homework.

“It is going to be more of a structured class where we teach [the students] tactics to handle their workload, to work with what they are given,” Mr. Bouchard said. “It will help them manage their stress, manage how to finish their work in a timely manner, and how to get to know the teachers.”

Guest speakers will include the counselors, alumni, technology, and upperclassmen who will mentor the students through a new leadership class.