Freshman Academy

The goal of the Huntsville City School Freshman Academy is to ease the transition from middle school to high school, and to ensure that freshmen successfully graduate within four years with the skills to succeed in college and career.

What to Expect at the Freshman Academy

Freshman students will be scheduled into teams with teachers who will provide guidance in educational achievement, social development, and career and life skills. 

Students will still experience mainstream high school through elective courses and extracurricular activities.

For a list of Freshman Academy contacts at all of our schools, Consult our staff directory.

Freshman Transition Standards

Freshman transition standards, developed by George Washington University and Dr. Rebecca Dedmond, must address a combination of personal/social, academic, and career and life skills.

Personal Social Development
  • Help students envision a future that is productive, achievable and stimulating.
  • Provide the framework to help students learn to prepare for the future and understand the consequences of today's choices and actions.
  • Expose students to potential stumbling blocks that could impede their success and help them develop the necessary coping skills and attitudes required for a productive transition into adulthood.
  • Provide practice in the communication and interpersonal skills required for career and personal success.
Educational Achievement
  • Facilitate students' recognition of the value of education and the importance of becoming internally motivated to succeed in school.
  • Motivate learners and workers who challenge themselves and strive for higher achievement.
  • Help students understand how education, training and career choice impact their personal lifestyle.
  • Motivate students to apply themselves, because once they understand how core subjects impact their future success, academic achievement will increase.
Career and Life Skills
  • Introduce a life and career planning process so students can continually adjust their plans throughout their education and adult life.
  • Help students become 'career focused' so every student is prepared to enter the workforce upon successful completion of their education.
  • Facilitate the development of a personalized ten year plan that matches each student's career aspirations and commitment to education.
  • Teach students the skills, aptitudes, and attitudes needed to successfully transition into high school, post-secondary education and/or training, the workforce, and adulthood.
Additional Information for Students

These are some things that you can do to prepare for the transition from middle school to high school:

  • Develop a vision for high school. What are your goals and what will it take to achieve them? 
  • Set high expectations for yourself. This is a fresh start for each 9th grade student. Work hard, and reach high to achieve your dreams.
  • Get organized!  Find a student planner/agenda that you like. You will use this every day to write down assignments, projects, due dates, meeting times and other important school information. 
  • Develop rules for when and how homework will be done. Identify a quiet workspace, free from distraction. Utilize your parents/guardians to review major assignments for proofing and editing. 
  • Get involved at school. Students who are involved in school activities feel more connected to the school and are more likely to graduate on time. 
  •  Form positive school relationships. Always be respectful to faculty and staff. Thank those people who help you. Don't be afraid to ask an adult for help. Avoid the "gossip and rumor mills."
  •  Monitor your progress regularly. Keep track of your own progress, and let your teachers and parents know when you are struggling in a class.
How Parents Can Help

Parents play a key role in easing the transition of their children into high school. How parents can help:

  • Proactively monitor every aspect of your student's life.
  • Set goals with your student, and revisit those goals often.
  • Educate yourself about school policies and follow them.
  • Develop procedures and protocols that define how work is done at home.
  • Require the use of daily student planner and monitor it.
  • Establish boundaries to assist your student with time management.
  • Form positive relationships with the school and get involved.
  • Attend school events of your child whenever possible.
  • Subscribe to any school email distribution lists and register for iNow Parent Portal.


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