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RBR Freshmen Prepare for First Day of High School

Freshman orientation prepares 9th graders for the first day of school.

Take five foul shots in the gym…. Get a signature from an athletic coach …What color is the floor in the BUC STOP?...What is written on the walls of the commons?
What is the mission of The SOURCE?....How many American Flags are in the
auditorium?

These and about 20 other tasks were presented to RBR’s new freshman class on a scavenger hunt designed to get them comfortable and familiar with their new school. Freshman Orientation took place a week before the actual beginning of school. During that day, students had the opportunity to collect all their books, meet their teachers, move through their schedule and even open their lockers.  They were assisted throughout the day by their teachers and upperclassman Student-to-Student Peer Leaders. 

At the end of the afternoon, the students were joined by their parents in the auditorium and addressed by the school’s administrators. The day ended with a celebratory barbeque enjoyed by the students and their families with the staff and administration.

Principal Risa Clay told the students and their parents that five years ago her own son took part in the Freshman Orientation Day. Just a few days ago, she dropped him off to college, emphasizing, to the freshmen “These four years will just fly by.” 

She added that she and the RBR staff will always be there to help students, but stated, “Participation is a big part of school success. There are many sports and activities to choose from, be sure to get involved.”

She encouraged them to e-mail or even Tweet her as, in addition to her blog, the RBR principal is now on Twitter. 

Superintendent Dr. Jim Stefankiewicz informed the families, to loud applause, that, according to New Jersey Monthly magazine, RBR has jumped by 20 places to the 41st best high school in New Jersey.  He added, “You know what gets us to that place --- hard work. High school is not going to be easy, and you will work very hard, but we will give you a lot of support to get there and we know you will get there.” He addressed parents stating, “We encourage you (parents) to be
involved for that will greatly improve your child’s best chance for success.”

The Class of 2016 represents the sixth year RBR has operated its Freshman Academy which reduces the size of the freshman class by dividing it into three smaller houses — Grey, Maroon and White, representing the school colors. Students in these houses, which are heterogeneous mixes of the entire class, share the same teachers and core classes for most of the day. The houses have friendly competitions throughout the school year, to build camaraderie. (The house that amassed the most points in the scavenger hunt began the year with 50 bonus points!)  Most importantly, their teachers have common teacher planning times to coordinate cross-curricular learning themes and keep abreast of student progress. The concept helps teachers to share information and increases their awareness so students don’t fall between the cracks in a large school. Research reports that a positive freshman year bodes well for future high school success.

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