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NHS Starts to Welcome Incoming Freshmen

On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Nutley High School held an informational meeting for the current eighth graders of John H. Walker Middle School to help them transition into high school. Since the high school process may seem daunting to students and parents, the Nutley High staff offered an opportunity to make the transition more welcoming and exciting. Students and families were given information about the courses offered at NHS in each academic department.  They learned about the scheduling process for next year, but also got to walk around the building and hear from current students. To represent the students and give the tours, many of the C.O.R.E. Ambassadors came to help.


The CORE Ambassadors are a group of students in Nutley High School, run by School Counselor Mrs. Carrie-Ann Vos, to help create a positive school culture. Since the purpose of this informational meeting was to help eighth graders feel more comfortable  and welcome in the high school, the CORE Ambassadors were the perfect help. 


Throughout the meeting, students and parents were guided into three different rooms. “In the auditorium, Ms. Leann Martin presented about  Mathematics and Mr. Kent Bania presented about Physical Education and Health. In the cafeteria, Ms. Carly Johnson presented about Science and Mrs. Julie Mitschow presented about World Language and ESL.  In the choir room, Dr. James Riley presented about the Career and Tech Education and Fine and Performing Arts courses; Mr. Joe Dwyer presented about Social Studies; and Mrs. Brooke Benavides about English Language Arts,” said Mrs. Meredith Gerckens, Coordinator of School Counseling. In addition to the respective topics, the first meeting of the event started from Mrs. Gerckens about the steps of the scheduling process.


After the presentations were over, parents and students were invited to tour the school. As the tours were given by the CORE Ambassadors, the students gave the incoming freshmen helpful tips, such as how to use your locker, how to get your class faster, and where to eat during lunch. There were an estimated 250 people in attendance that night. For anyone that was not in attendance and would still like the information shared that night, it can be found on the scheduling page of the NHS School Counseling website.


“I heard positive feedback from both parents and students about getting to go on the tours. There is definitely more to be done in the transition process. This is just the first step,” says Mrs. Gerckens.


This event is only the first of many steps the NHS Staff and CORE Ambassadors are taking to make the school welcome to all. This June, CORE Ambassadors will be meeting eighth graders in their Physical Education classes to run small groups and do activities regarding the transition to high school. Then, NHS will hold a Freshmen Orientation Program in August. In September, counselors will meet with each freshman individually to get to know them and build rapport.