Freshman academy in the works for 2019-2020


While a school having houses for their students may sound like copying from the Harry Potter series, what is happening is different. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, incoming freshmen will be placed into one of three houses all year long. Students from the same house each share the same English, math and science teachers, so all other classes remain unaffected. No other class men will be affected and once the next year comes around the former freshmen will no longer be with any house. The reasoning behind trying this kind of idea out is because the school has noticed a trend of freshmen not doing their best, so this is supposed to help students improve behaviorally, socially, emotionally and academically.
“The idea has actually been floating around for a while, now that we’re getting it started we are doing what we can to make it run smoothly,” Academic Dean Kristin Kramer said.
Students will end up being placed alphabetically, so there is no option to switch houses unless a student gets his or her name legally changed. Those in charge of each house are given the position of House Lead Teachers, and starting next year those teachers are English teacher Rachael Richards, science teacher April Branch and math teacher David Mosley. Besides them, the other participants in the system include regular house teachers, Assistant Principals, the Academic Dean, etc. Inspiration comes from other high schools in the Escondido Union High School District which have communicated to those in charge of this project that the system does bring improvements. So hopes are high that there will be these changes present the next school year and onward.
“We’re hoping to create a community of teachers who can support these freshmen as they adjust to the new demands of high school,” Branch said.
With all freshmen students in a more collaborative environment, these students will have an environment to grow which they wouldn’t have otherwise. Teachers plan to conduct meetings regularly and establish reward and recognition systems as well. AP’s and counselors provide intervention when needed and track students progress throughout the year. There is oversight being done at all levels of this system to make sure everyone is performing and learning well. For now though, there are still many things to be decided, and the end product is still an unknown. Those in charge of making this happen though are determined to make the system the best they can for the following school year.
“This will lead to students having a much higher chance of succeeding in their freshman year at OG, and therefore increasing their opportunity to graduate with their peers,” Mosley said.