DMS vs. DHS: How are this year’s freshmen making the transition?

DMS vs. DHS: How are this years freshmen making the transition?

The transition from middle school to high school offers freedoms such as control over one’s schedule and where one can sit at lunch. However, the transition is a major adjustment for many students because of the drastic changes that come along with it.

Many upperclassmen have enjoyed high school more than middle school because of “the freedom and more mature atmosphere,” said sophomore Felisha Moniz. Freshmen, still adjusting to the initial change of high school, however, see it in a different light.

Freshman Samantha Moniz is involved in volleyball. “The sports teams at DHS are well-funded and at times you are dismissed from your last block class a few minutes earlier which is always a perk,” she said. “Plus, the sports teams have a very friendly environment.” She is impressed with all aspects of the athletic department and the way it is run.

Being used to the middle school’s art class structure, freshman artist Michelle Sherman is excited about the differences in the art departments. “The art electives allow for actual creativity instead of basic and bland lesson plans,” said Sherman. Freshmen are used to the middle school’s schedule of art class twice every six days for a third of the year, so the transition to longer and more specialized art classes every day for half of the year is exciting to many students. The availability of a variety of art electives allows one to choose and hone skills in a particular area of interest.

Freshman band member Logan Bolarinho views the high school band as more interesting, because of a more “hands on way of learning rather than the traditional lesson and test method.” He also sees the DHS band as one that receives respect due to its national ranking.

DHS freshman Madison Levesque said, “Clubs allow you to meet people of the same interests.” These give you the chance to make friends from different grade levels. Levesque is involved in Ultimate Frisbee Club and Media Club. She adds that the middle school’s main focus is high standardized testing scores, whereas the high school values personal interests as well as academic achievement. The multitude of clubs and activities that span a wide range of interests and skills are testimony to the DHS focus on the whole student body.

Students at DHS have their own special interests and hobbies, which are worked into their environment, but students are stressed by the amount of homework required. Freshman Charlotte Correiro said, “It’s a lot of work, but I like it so far.” Many students indicate a lack of time to do their homework once extracurricular activities have become part of their schedules. Students manage to complete their work, but they are sacrificing sleep and leisure time to do so.

The setup of high school as opposed to middle school stands out to many freshmen as well. The adjustment from having six classes a day to four, within the same time frame, was overwhelming to many students at first, especially those who have a hard time paying attention. However, others found the schedule more consistent because of the switch from the middle school’s A-F day cycle.

Overall, students appear to favor the high school over the middle school. DHS graduate Simone Gafitanu said, “Although middle school was easier, the opportunities and independence offered at the high school made for a better overall educational experience.”