Easing the Transition

Windsor Central High School is offering its first-ever Freshmen Seminar course. The class will best prepare them for success in high school and beyond.

“We talked about it last school year and put something together. Research shows freshman year is the most critical and we’re hoping this class builds future-ready skills. But the starting point is, ‘Will this make their HS career easier?’” said WCHS teacher Greg McKeon.
Mr. McKeon and fellow teacher Dr. Jennifer Leip are leading the course, which freshmen will take every other school day for the year.

“When we look at what we want our students to walk away with, we want them to have those cognitive skills they get from classes, but also have those interpersonal skills to foster communications with peers and colleagues as they move on,” said Dr. Leip.

The course is based on the School Connect curriculum which has modules focused on communication, academic skills, collaboration, empathy, inclusion, relationship building, conflict-resolution, goal-setting, and mental health.

“We want to get them interacting more, off their devices, communicating, problem-solving, and collaborating. We always see the difference between the freshmen and seniors in maturity levels and we’d like to see that maturing happen a little sooner,” said Mr. McKeon.

“I thought (the class) was pretty awesome. It was interesting to see Mr. McKeon teach and tell us what it will be about. I think it will help a lot,” said student Kendall Hinman. “It will help me with social skills and time management.”

Dr. Leip sees immediate and long-term benefits to the course.

“I think we’ll have more positive communication between students, between students and staff, and a better sense of empathy and compassion with one another, as well as students having the skills to be successful outside of the building,” said Dr. Leip.

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