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Ninth graders gear up for new school year at Freshmen Orientation

Sept. 3, 2015

Testing out the new ChromebookAbout 170 incoming freshmen at Schalmont Central School District arrived at the school today, excited about the start of their high school career and the chance to be in the first class that will partake in the district’s new one-to-one initiative, in which all ninth graders will receive a new Chromebook to use for the next four years.

The one-to-one initiative is part of the district’s long-term technology plan, which was implemented in 2014-15 and includes objectives through 2018. The goal is to help students strengthen their 21st Century skills and provides students, who will be taking the Chromebooks home, with 24/7 access to learning. The students will also be piloting an e-textbook initiative for their Earth Science class this year.

“We want to make sure our students have the same skills as others in the Capital Region,” High School Principal Imran Abbasi said. “And as more colleges transition to digital textbooks, we want to make sure students are used to using both e-books and traditional textbooks.”

studentss get their schedulesThough technology played a large roll in this morning’s events, students also received their class schedule and their lock and were then guided through the building by S.A.D.D., National Honor Society and Respect Club volunteers to find their lockers and locate their classrooms.
Principal Abbasi spoke to the students assembled in the theater about the importance of being a self-advocate and getting the most possible out of their high school experience.

“This is the start of getting to make some choices in what classes you take as you think about your future career and college options, but it isn’t just about academics,” he said. “Take part in school activities. The more invested you are, the more you will get out of being here. Take part in something you enjoy and that gives you the opportunity to connect to other students as well as faculty and staff.”

freshmen orientationHe also stressed that students should not be afraid to ask questions or let a staff member know if something is going on that affects a student’s experience at school.

“We really like students to ask questions and advocate for themselves,” Abbasi said, adding that parents should encourage their children to ask questions of teachers and principals and other staff.

“We want to promote a school that is safe, positive and where people feel comfortable being here,” Assistant Principal and Dignity Act Coordinator Jackie Gordon added.

If any student/parent was unable to attend orientation today, Chromebooks can be picked up in the district office from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The district will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7 for Labor Day.

Visit the district's Facebook page for more photos!