Freshman reflect on grades

Class of 2022 look back on their first year of high school and plan to do better


Kortney Huggins

Amina Noble, freshman, uses fourth period to catch up on schoolwork. Noble wrote her own notes in class so she could use them while doing her homework.

Kortney Huggins, Staff Writer

Transitioning into high school can be intimidating or nerve racking to rising ninth graders. They question what it will be like, what they will do, who they will sit with at lunch. But oftentimes, these students forget to also worry about their grades.

In the transition from middle school to high school, students are encouraged to stay on top of their grades as freshman year could potentially be the hardest of their four years in high school. In order to help these students, Ola has systems designed and set in place to promote maintaining good grades.

“There’s a lot of different things offered from teacher-to-teacher for each kid. But freshman focus is where we have a big, systematic approach to get the freshman where they need to be,” Joe Caldwell, graduation coach, said.

There are multiple components that go into these students excelling or failing at school. From teachers who rush through subjects to students who do not pay attention and even to parents who do not stay on top of their student to do well.

I dont think they realize how much time slips away from them when they play on their phones, even just for a few minutes.”

— Caldwell

“Teachers are a big factor along with parental support. It’s tough when a student’s not doing anything in class… the only pressure we can apply is sign them up for mandatory tutoring or detention here or there. We have to have the support of the parents to make the kid work,” Caldwell said.

Teaching strategies in high school when compared to those of middle school vary for each teacher. They have different systems for communication, late work, extra credit and even test-taking strategies.

“My grades are average. I think it reflects my work ethic because I don’t really turn my stuff in on time. So then it makes my grade lower than I know it could be… It would help if my teachers made it more fun. Because a lot of the time it’s like ‘Here’s a paper, do it.’ ” Alyssa Barfield, freshman, said.

In middle school, students are usually reminded everyday of what to do and when. But, once they are in high school, it is up the student to make their own “to-do list” of all of their classes and complete everything on it in order to stay successful.

“I use fourth period a lot to help me study and stuff and get my friends to help me. I ask my teachers questions, but sometimes I don’t like how they explain it so I watch videos and make flashcards” Amina Noble, freshman, said.

While adjusting to the new school and teaching strategies, students can fall behind in one or multiple classes. But, with some hard work and a little extra help from their teachers, students can always attempt that major comeback.

It helps if I just write everything from the board as my notes. ”

— Moses

“I started failing math, but then I started doing some extra work and brought it back up… I’m very happy with where [my grade is] at right now,” Matthew Moses, freshman, said.

Though teachers can offer extra credit or tutoring, it is not always available so students are encouraged to keep up their grades year round. Teachers can play a key role in the accomplishments or the lack of success that show in students’ grades.

“[I would tell my teachers] To go slower when they teach. Like sometimes they will go through a topic in one day and half the class doesn’t understand what they said… Or ask if there’s any questions more often, because they don’t take questions much,” Noble said.

Reviewing their grades from their first year in high school, these freshmen plan to create new and better study habits for their sophomore year in order to maintain their good grades all year.