Sulphur Springs High School’s Student Council has planned a morning of activities Monday, Aug. 25, to help incoming freshman prepare for the new school year, and the high school principal describes some of the things students can expect as they return to classes.
Freshman orientation or “fish camp” will provide useful information that will make the transition from middle school to high school as smooth as possible and gives students a chance to “get connected.”
“The biggest thing they should get from fish camp is to make first day better,” said Alyssa Post, SSHS Student Council sponsor.
Fish camp will be a little longer this year in order to not only help students prepare for high school life, but give them tips on ways to be successful, provides an opportunity to learn about various organizations, enjoy a fashion show emphasizing dress code, meet administrators, pick up schedules, go on a walking tour and participate in a mock class day. That’s right — a mock class day. During a designated time, students will “go to class” following their daily schedule through each class so they can become familiar with SSHS.
“Fish camp will be presented by the student council, so they can hear from other kids. I will talk a little, too,” said SSHS Principal Josh Williams. “They’ll get their schedule and we’ll run them through their day. We’ll put a student council member or student in each class. As they rotate through the schedule, they’ll see and hear extracurricular activities, to make it easier to get involved.”
While attendance at fish camp is not required, it is encouraged.
Fish Camp will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon Monday, Aug. 25.
The rest of the student body — all sophomores, juniors and seniors and any freshmen who were not able to attend fish camp — can pick up their class schedules at SSHS anytime between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.
“If there is an error or problem with their schedule, they can go to the counseling center. If there is a problem we’ll try to work with it. There’s no guarantee,” Williams said.
Ninth through 12th graders who are new to the district can register for classes anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays at the school office, 1200 Connally St.
Students who drive to school can still pay to reserve a parking spot. Contact Kayla Overly at SSHS, 903-885-2158 for more information.
SSHS classes begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26. Students will receive the usual enrollment information packets to fill out from teachers on the first day of class.
Williams will meet the first day of school with freshmen and sophomores and the second day with juniors and seniors to “make them feel welcome and hit right on how to have a successful year.” During the session, school administrators will discuss what’s expected of students in the way of work, including the importance of showing respect.
The student dress code and handbook are “pretty much the same,” according to Williams. The primary rule of thumb for students that their clothing should “maintain modesty and dignity.”
One thing to note is the appropriate time to use cell phones and smart devices at school.
“Last year, cells were used at lunch and this time its the same. It’s lunch — their freedom to use if they choose,” Williams said. “In a class of 20 kids, most will have cells. If a teacher says, ‘Get your phone out and look something up,’ that’s OK. They can Google and share what they found.”
The big push at this year will be “insuring as many kids as possible are plugged into something. Everyone has a hole — we want them to fill it with something positive,” Williams noted.
During fish camp, freshmen will be given a brochure that explain ways they can get connected with career and technology organizations, extracurricular clubs, co-curricular clubs and UIL academics; all other grade levels will get it later.
Each student will be asked to complete a club/organization interest sheet choosing their first, second and third choice options for programs they are interested in participating.
“The list will be given to coaches and sponsors. We’ll say, ‘Here’s what the kids are interested in it. You pull them together, see if they are really interested in doing it, participating,’” Williams explained.
And to add a little to the atmosphere, the library in addition to containing the career center will also in some cases resemble a coffee shop.
“We have cappuccino in the library. It will be at teachers’ discretion in class to use. If they take the class to the library, they can choose whether they can have a cappuccino with their reading,” Williams.
For information about SSHS, go online to www.ssisd.net
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