The BHS Freshman Academy held its inaugural Bridge Program last week for students transitioning from Oak Hill Middle School to Baldwin High School. The idea came from a joint venture between the YES Summer Camp coordinator and 9th Grade Academy Teacher Ms. Alicia Jenkins and incoming BHS Assistant Principal Dr. Tyrone Gonder, who both wanted to give students a change to get acclimated to the Baldwin High School building and cut down on the some of the anxiety that they might have.
The program was open for anyone to enroll who was an incoming ninth-grader to BHS, and received 140 registrees. Dr. Gonder said, "the most exciting thing about the Bridge Program is it gave the kids an opportunity to come in early to kind of get settled in and see our building, listen to some of our rules and procedures; listen to what it means to be a high school student. We did some very important things. We used mentoring to get that information out to them. We played different games. We did a scavenger hunt. They were able to go around the school and learn. I think it was 41 different locations throughout the school. And plus they got some very important whole group presentations on conflict resolution, stress and anger management, as well as time management." In addition, each student completed a "google site" project titled "My High School Journey". This project included a 4-year high school plan with possible extracurricular activities, academy options, career pathways, and academic classes including dual-enrollment.
"I think it's been a tremendous success," said Alicia Jenkins, "For our first year, we've had a lot of kids, and a lot of kids feel like it's been beneficial. They definitely know where their classes are. They know some of the ninth grade teachers. And they know some of the expectations that we have, and some of the differences between Oak Hill and Baldwin High."
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