GMHS Freshmen Orientation Day

Posted on August 21, 2015, in Events, Lancer Life

Freshmen Orientation took place today at General McLane High School.

The day, which focuses on helping the students feel welcomed and part of the school, started with the doors of the high school gymnasium swinging open and this year’s freshmen streaming in to cheers and applause from upperclass “Link Crew Leaders.” Following the welcoming ceremony, students split into large and small group sessions with student leaders and advisors.

General McLane’s Freshmen Orientation is part of a national program known as Link Crew. This high school transition program welcomes freshmen and makes them feel comfortable throughout their first year of high school. Although this program starts with Freshmen Orientation, it continues throughout the year with academic and social follow-ups between the Link Crew Leaders (upperclassmen) and the freshmen.

General McLane launched this program in 2008 as the District’s effort to focus on the ninth grade transition. This was a result of critical research that showed that “graduating freshman to sophomore status” is a key determining factor as to who graduates from high school. According to the research, students who do not earn enough credits in 9th grade to move to 10th grade are at higher risk for dropping out.

“Link Crew is one of the most effective programs I have seen for helping freshmen transition into a high school,” said Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “At General McLane, this has been one component that has helped us reduce the number of freshmen not academically graduating to tenth grade.”
Since the focus on freshmen transition, the District has seen more freshmen academically graduating to tenth grade, which has impacted the high school graduation rate among seniors.

General McLane is the only district in Erie County that uses this program. Before Link Crew, the High School orientation program was “Students for Academic Excellence,” which started in the late 80s.

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