New Incoming Student Orientation Program at Eastern

The registration deadline is Aug. 4

Due to an immense amount of feedback, Eastern Regional High School is laying out a new freshman transition program. The orientation program will be held Aug. 22–24. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $50 per student if registered by Aug. 4. The late registration fee is $70.

More than 140 students have registered for the orientation program. According to Phil Smart, the supervisor of attendance, student activities, technology and TV media administration, the goal is to have about 300 students signed up for the orientation program. The incoming freshman class consists of a little fewer than 500 students from Voorhees, Berlin Borough and Gibbsboro. Teachers Liz O’Keefe, Susan Bunnell-Jackson and Kim Fox, along with Smart, are in charge of organizing and administering the orientation program. The freshman/new student transition camp will be facilitated by the Student Alliance Mentors.

“The purpose of the program is to help guide the freshmen and help them feel more comfortable,” Fox said. “It’s a big school, so depending on the middle school you came from, it can be a very big change getting to know Eastern. … We will have activities designed to help students navigate through the high school.”

These activities will help students “navigate through the high school complex; locate classrooms, labs and study areas; learn organization, time management, test-taking and study skills; teach them how to follow the wheel schedule; and how to effectively use the lunch and lab period.”

At the orientation, students will receive their schedules and iPads. A large component of the orientation will be teaching students how to use the programs with the tablet. There will be a guided tour of the high school along with a chance for incoming students to run through their schedules and figure out how much time it takes to get from class to class.

The Student Alliance Mentors will facilitate discussions with the incoming students, share their experiences at Eastern and provide a short “dos and don’ts of high school.” These discussions will be facilitated in a small group to allow incoming students to ask questions and feel comfortable with the mentors.

“Even though there is instruction, there is going to be a lot of fun and games. It’s more of a summer camp, not a summer class. … There will be an ice cream social and a scavenger hunt,” O’Keefe said.

This year is the first year Eastern will be running the three-day program. The previous program was a one-night orientation for students and parents. Feedback from the previous program made it clear it did not provide the opportunity for students to feel comfortable with the school. This new program aims to set students up to succeed.

To register for the orientation program, use Family ID at the website or visit http://bit.ly/Transition21