The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

Please tell the other members of the network a little about yourself. Nothing is too short and nothing is too long. Just let us know who we are so we can turn this network into a true community.

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Michele - thanks for all the information.  In fact, I really think you should copy and paste that whole reply into a new blog post on this site.  I'm sure others out there could identify.

You might find some of the ideas on helpful.

Let me know if you need any help "educating the teachers."  I regularly provide professional development for schools around the country on Freshman Transition and related topics.  I'd love to talk with you about some possibilities and could you put you in touch with other members of this site with whom I have worked in the past.

Again, great post!

"We plastered the school with RAISE posters --RAISE your expectations, RAISE your voice, RAISE your hand.  Then we offered a 4 part workshop--during one block scheduled class/week-- , based on research and experience, to provide topics that would be beneficial to the students, activities that would be fun, and build relationships that would connect them to our community. "

That made me sit up in my chair and start planning!

Excellent share Michele.  I'm gonna have to use this one!


Hello my name is Hattie S Petty. I have been teaching for 18 years. For the last 3 years I have taught 9th grade Workd Geography and Mississippi Studies. I teach at Columbus High School in Columbus, MS.

Welcome, Hattie!  Thanks for introducing yourself and I hope you find helpful resources on this site.

I am an assistant principal for Student Activities at Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas. We are a 5A school with 1400 students.  I went to my principal in 2008 after reviewing some materials from Link Crew and the Boomerang Project.  I had an idea for our worn-out Freshman Orientation which had been in place for many years.  He was excited about my ideas and knew of a local business with sponsorship money.  This project has grown beyond my greatest hopes.  Our upperclassmen enjoy it and the parents of the incoming 9th grade class begin calling in June inquiring about the program.  I conduct leadership training all summer for the upperclassmen and I am interested in joining your group for new ideas.  

Thanks for joining!  You might take a moment and add a blog post about what you're doing with your Freshman Orientation.  That way we can send it out to the rest of the members and all can benefit.  Let me know if you need help with getting that to work.

Hi all, 

I'm an Assistant Principal at Rappahannock High School, Warsaw, VA.

Our superintendent has tasked me to install an Academy model in our high school for this fall ... *I know...*

I'll make it happen.

I came to this site at the suggestion of our principal who said, "Scott Habeeb is the man when it comes to transition!"

My goal is to, first, establish an idea of an exemplary academy model and then plan backwards from there (to create a plan customized to my local context) 

I'm already learning tons from the discussion boards and the blogs here.

Thank you all for giving us transition noobs some quality reading! 

With Respect, 

William Washington

William- that was very kind of your principal!  Let me know what I can do to help out.  

Getting something up and running for the fall will be tricky.  I'd suggest looking at whatever you do as a pilot more than a finished product.  Ideally you'd have a year for your faculty to explore, plan, and create.  

If I can assist you with any of that, with any related PD, or as a sounding board for ideas, feel free to email me (, contact me through this site, or call me (540-389-2610).  

Good luck!

Calling now!

My name is John Morgan, and I am a new Assistant Principal at Charlottesville High School in VA. I have 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in Ohio and moved here to take this position on July 1. I have had some experience developing interdisciplinary teams at the high school level for freshman and sophomore students who were deemed to be academically "at risk" for a variety of reasons. This was at a very diverse high school, about 1700 students, and we got good results. Charlottesville is also a very diverse school district with the resources to potentially support a really nice freshman transition program. Having just gotten here, I am getting the lay of the land and trying to gather some people interested in this area into a committee to begin some discussion around the topic. Not sure what it will look like here, but I know the key to our graduation rate is what happens or doesn't happen freshman year. So happy to have found this network, I look forward to getting input, suggestions, and just seeing what everyone else is doing as I move forward. Nice to meet you all virtually!

Welcome, John!  Thanks for introducing yourself to the group.  You're right - the key to your graduation rate - the key to improving your school as a whole - is to do an outstanding job with your freshmen.  With your years of experience, I know you can be a great resource to others on this network.  Please consider adding a blog post telling of your experiences and what you found that works.

As a previous 9th grade principal at Joplin High School in Joplin MO, I witnessed an amazing mentoring program provided by juniors and seniors to freshmen. The program is called FUSION. 

For more information about the Fusion Project, contact Tobin Schultz, Program Director, at or visit:


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