This year my youngest is entering Upper Darby High as a freshman. We’ve been through the high school with my daughters, but this year it is a little different. This year, they are starting what they call the Freshman Academy.
What Upper Darby High is Offering in the Freshman Academy
This Freshman Academy doesn’t just effect the students and parents. If they succeed in their goals, Upper Darby High will be helping the community as well. By ensuring safety, and stability to these teens in their most vulnerable year in school, the effect will be like throwing a pebble on a quiet lake. A ripple effect. By having more confidence and feeling the care and time these teachers and counselors are willing to give, the effect goes well beyond academics. When teenagers have stability in their lives and adults they feel they can trust, their behavior is far better outside the classroom as well.
The People on Your Child’s Team
The Freshman Academy is literally offering your child a team. I was told at orientation by the principal on Monday night that the teachers involved in the Freshman Academy are there voluntarily. This was not draw of the hat or the teachers at the bottom of the totem pole. These are teachers who wanted to teach freshman, and that takes dedication. Other grades are far easier to teach than the trying times of being a freshman. Your child’s team will follow them through their high school career. The guidance counselors, teachers, principals, all stay with them through all four years at Upper Darby High.
Involvement on All Sides
All students in Upper Darby High have a Center. There is one for each grade and this is where the principal, counselors and social workers are based. Each Center has its own secretary as well. This secretary plays an important role and she is very happy to speak to any parent any time. She is also the one who coordinates the students with who they need at the center, no matter what the issue is. During her speech she made sure to mention numerous times that you could never call her too much. So the staff is very involved, the parents are encouraged to be very involved. Now most important, the students are encouraged to be involved. They are trusted to make adult choices and they refer to them as men and women, not “kids”. The principal, teachers, counselors all expect the students to not only take control of their life in school but out as well.
Freshman Academy Opportunities
Of course academics is very important and every opportunity is available to place your teen in the proper level of classes. Upper Darby also realizes that after school can be just as important. A teenager can be brilliant, but if given too much idle time can slip into the wrong crowd or become preoccupied. The Freshman Academy offers every kind of club imaginable for after school interests. They are also well known for their performing arts and athletics.
I feel this year has a lot of exciting opportunities and changes at Upper Darby High. As I said earlier, this will indeed have a ripple effect. The better the teens feel about themselves and the better they feel about their schooling experience, the better they will act while out of school and in the community.