Weekly Ninth Grade Advisory Sessions Help Freshmen Adjust to High School in a Pandemic


Haleigh Rohrman

Freshman year can be a hard adjustment in a normal year, so it’s hard to imagine how hard it must be in a pandemic where you have to learn how to do schoolwork differently than in years past.

To assist with the transition ninth grade administrator Mrs. Miller runs a weekly ninth grade advisory session for all freshmen. They meet on Wednesdays 11:30-12:00 through google meets. Miller shares, ‘’We will continue meeting this way through the end of this school year and then hopefully we can have some in-person meetings next Fall.’’

During their thirty minute weekly sessions they focus on several different things to help freshmen make the transition to high school and succeed. Miller adds, “We give them tips and advice on how to be a good student, how to manage their time, how to seek help when they are struggling, and check in with them on the social-emotional level.” With students having now been at home for over a year with the pandemic and adolescents facing increased mental health issues, checking in on students’ social emotional health has been a school system priority.

Transitioning to a new school can be a tough transition and for this year’s freshmen entering Kenwood during a pandemic can make it hard for them to feel a part of the Kenwood school community. Miller shares, “We have a good core group of students that regularly attend and I think for them, they have met new friends, learned a little bit more about high school and how we do things at Kenwood. When they do come back in the building, we have already established a relationship with those students, and I think that will make them more comfortable and ultimately more successful in high school.”

Freshmen Kelvin G. has attended the ninth grade advisory on a regular basis throughout this virtual school year. He’s found attending the weekly sessions really helpful in acclimating himself to Kenwood and high school. “The ninth grade advisory helped me improve ways I could never have imagined. It encouraged me to always have self confidence in all that I do,” he shares.

That sense of confidence and community is something Ms. Miller hopes all freshmen leave with this year. She had several goals for the program this school year. “We wanted to give the ninth graders a space where they could ask questions and learn from their peers and staff members who aren’t necessarily their teachers. Also, with everything beginning virtually this year, I wanted to find another way to connect with the students and give them some of those transitional skills that would have been taught at the beginning of the school year.’’

Though this has not been a traditional freshmen year for them, they are hopefully leaving their freshmen year a bit more confident in being a high schooler and feeling like a part of the Kenwood community.