Editorial: High school’s Focus on Freshmen program demands too much from students

The Focus on Freshmen program implemented in the high school last school year has returned after being adapted to the new hybrid learning model. This mandatory program is designed to teach students new study habits and help facilitate their transition into high school. However, the Focus on Freshmen program is much too overbearing for students and thus should be amended or removed.

This year, the high school has made this program a requirement for all freshmen to complete during study hall once a week in the second and third quarters. However, freshmen without study halls are required to attend these meetings during the second half of their lunch period. 

Weekly meetings may not seem too demanding, but this program spans over the course of two quarters, so it takes up a large portion of the students’ time. Furthermore, the Focus on Freshmen program is designed to teach students to make the most of the time they have available, but this is directly contradicted in its scheduling, as it takes away from the limited study time students have in school.

The entire purpose of the program is to aid in the transition from middle school to high school, which is beneficial to the incoming freshman class. This year, however, the program did not begin until the second quarter. This drastically decreased the value of the program because the students have already spent their first quarter of high school discovering the means by which they can excel. The freshmen were forced to navigate distance learning and high school for the first time on their own and they were able to accomplish this task. Therefore, the Focus on Freshmen program seems to be too little too late.

Some may argue that this program will benefit students because it informs them of many different strategies they can use to navigate schoolwork and maintain good grades. While this could be true for some students, the fact is that every student learns in their own unique way. The transition to high school is difficult for a reason: it requires personal trial and error. This cannot be replicated by the weekly program.

Ultimately, the intended goal of this program is beneficial to students. However, its execution needs to be changed in order for it to be effective. If this program were optional for any freshman who felt that they needed to be more productive in their learning, it would serve as a potential resource to help find a common routine that works for them personally. In addition, it would not force students, who have already found their own strategies, to waste their study hall or lunch listening to something that is not applicable to them. This program has the potential to help a lot of students, but without reform, freshmen will see it as just another burden added to the list.