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From learning hallway etiquette to meeting teachers, orientation gives freshmen a boost


Incoming freshman took home bookmarks bearing the Bryan Station Defenders’ fight song. (Photo from FCPS)

By Tammy Lane
Special to KyForward

Students in Fayette County Public Schools are transitioning from beach bags to backpacks as they count down to the first day of classes Aug. 14. Open houses and school orientations help with the mind shift.

“I went around to see my teachers, and they said to stay focused,” said Shyan Laine, an incoming freshman at Bryan Station High School. “It’s difficult the first few days, but it gets easier. If you stay on task and follow instructions, you can be successful all four years.”

Success, in fact, was the focus of one of Bryan Station’s sessions for its new ninth-graders. Gathered in the wellness center, students divided into 10 groups to brainstorm what it takes. Among the suggestions were to maintain balance in life, spend time with the right people and work outside one’s comfort zone.


In Bryan Station’s wellness center, students divided into 10 groups to brainstorm on how to ensure they all enjoy a successful freshman year. (Photo from FCPS)

Bryan Station split its freshman class into five rotations, with other stops in the library, orchestra room, cafeteria and auditorium. Cheerleaders and JROTC members served as tour guides. Later, parents and families joined in as the students received their schedules and found their classrooms.

“The most useful thing is walking through the school because I don’t know where anything is,” said Madison Lewis, who was also happy to reunite with friends.

Librarian Donnie Woodward welcomed the newcomers with an overview of her area, pointing out where popular genres are shelved and handing out bookmarks with the school fight song. “We’re here to make your homework and assignments easier,” she said. “And if you get lost, we’ll send you off in the right direction.”

Another session covered such essentials as severe weather drills, bus lane protocol, hallway etiquette and cafeteria lines. The freshmen also got a crash course on the dress code, including reminders to cover up the leggings and leave the bandanas at home. In addition, teachers shared some study tips, such as staying organized, taking good notes and participating constructively in class.

Associate Principal John Barnes emphasized that respecting others and working through adversity are crucial, along with buckling down on coursework.

“Everything counts in high school. If you don’t pass the class, guess what? You have to take it over,” he said. “Everything you do from this point on counts, and you’re held accountable academically.”

Barnes also reassured the students’ families and asked for their support.

“When they come to Bryan Station, they’re my babies, too, and I’ll do everything I can to help them be successful. But education starts at home, and I need parents’ help,” he said. “I need them involved in their kid’s education. It’s a team effort.”

Tammy Lane is a communications specialist and web editor for Fayette County Public Schools.

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