BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville High School’s freshman class has enjoyed the most comprehensive Freshman Transition program yet, which was planned and executed by the high school's Guidance Office, led by Director Ann Abbatecola.
An addition to the program, and one of the highlights for these freshmen, was a daylong trip to the Sharpe Reservation near Fishkill in September. There they participated in outdoor activities designed to build community and promote class involvement throughout their time in high school. The trip was funded by the Bronxville School Foundation in response to a grant submitted by Abbatecola and Bronxville High School Principal Ann Meyer.
The transition program began when these students were in eighth grade with a series of orientation sessions. They were led by school counselors and high school student leaders to get the eighth graders comfortable with the idea of becoming high school students and thinking about what they might want to accomplish during their high school years. Abbatecola said, “I was pleasantly surprised by the number and enthusiasm of high school seniors who applied to be transition leaders – we selected forty-eight in all.”
On the first two days of school, this freshman class was given a more detailed orientation to the high school, including student-led tours and debriefings. During the second week of school, the entire freshman class -- along with the senior transition leaders and twelve faculty members, including all the Guidance Office counselors and principal Meyer -- headed to the Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, N.Y. They spent the day undergoing mental and physical challenges designed to foster team-building. One activity (pictured) required small groups of freshmen to build a vehicle using only materials provided, which they then raced using their own power. They also developed and presented a marketing plan for their vehicles.
Students also competed in an obstacle course, in which each obstacle required innovative thinking and collaboration within each of the small groups. The group also shared a barbeque lunch together. Freshman Harry Colvin said, “My favorite activity was the obstacle course, in particular when we had to get our whole team through a hanging tire. I bonded with my classmates and the freshman transition leaders.” Funding for next year’s freshman trip to the Sharpe Reservation is expected to be included in the school budget.
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