Incoming freshmen at the charter school on the campus of Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) learned what to expect as they enter high school during Fish Camp, a freshman orientation, on July 10. Sixteen students will begin their first year at the charter school operated in partnership with The University of Texas-University Charter School system.
Michelle Arocha, executive principal, gave the students an overview of the school, went over expectations and explained transcripts and grade point averages. Additionally, she informed them of changes this upcoming school year including new teachers, schedules and school policies.
After Arocha’s presentation, students were introduced to members of the MCH Transition Services (TS) staff. TS coordinators begin meeting with MCH students their junior year to help them prepare and develop post-graduation plans, including how to apply for college and scholarships, admissions testing, taking college visits, finding a place to live, and learning independent living skills.
TS staff explained to students about life after high school and gave examples regarding cost of living expenses such as rent and phone. They also provided information on additional MCH resources available to students and stressed the importance of doing well in school in order to increase their chance of success in advanced education or the workplace.
Freshmen were given information on dual credit and career development programs available to them as upperclassmen through partnerships with Waco ISD and local colleges. Through the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy (GWAMA), students can choose a curriculum to learn welding, construction, electronics and robotics, or architecture. By taking classes with the Greater Waco Advanced Healthcare Academy (GWAHCA), students can earn certificates as a certified nurse assistant, pharmacy technician or EKG technician.
For the final activity of Fish Camp, the group participated in team building exercises with MCH recreation staff. They closed out the day discussing what they learned during the orientation.
“I learned that you need good grades and to be on your best behavior in order to earn scholarships,” said Devion, one of the students attending Fish Camp.
Charter school students will begin the 2019-2020 school year on Aug. 19.