Going into high school can be more than a little intimidating, which is why teachers and staff at Dover High School held their annual Jump Start Academy Aug. 12 – 14 to help the former eighth-graders make a smooth transition to their final four years in school.
“We have a very big population,” said Dr. Evelyn Edney, principal for administration at Dover High. “We want to make sure we’re bringing in our newest Senators and teaching them how to be academically successful, socially successful and making sure they’re getting involved in school activities.”
An average of 366 students took part in the program.
This year, the program for the Class of 2017 was extended from one to three days to give them a more comprehensive look at the school and its programs. Students spent time in their various classrooms and were introduced to their new teachers and school staff. The new ninth-graders also received information on behavioral standards and school policies.
The last day was marked by a barbecue that included a large number of parents in attendance, Edney said. The new students also got a chance to learn about and sign up for the various clubs and other organizations in the school.
“The program provides the right amount of fun and team-building,” Edney said, “but the students are also learning.
“It’s very important,” she added. “It’s a transition year for these students, and a program like this is a great vehicle for starting ninth grade.”
Capital School District Board of Education members Kay Dietz-Sass and Phillip Martino Jr. each had a child go through the Jump Start program, and both reported their children were pleased.
“It let her get the lay of the land,” Martino said of his daughter’s experience. “It let her get comfortable with the school before it opened and everyone else got in there.”