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FHS teachers invite freshmen to ‘Boost Camp’

Farragut High School rising freshmen get a boost when it comes to entering a new school.

In its third year, Boost Camp continues to focus on making the middle to high school transition a little smoother.

“They’ll have a very smooth transition going in and a high comfort level,” FHS math teacher Brenda McGrath said.

High school is much different from middle school.

For example, high school grades are cumulative –– students don’t start over academically every year as they did in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Team building exercises are used to get students acclimated to FHS’s layout, classrooms, gym, bathrooms and offices.

“Everything is all about team building these days,” McGrath said.

“We divide them into groups to learn everything in the building. It’s like a scavenger hunt.

“Then, they have to build a chair out of newspaper and masking tape that is strong enough to hold one of them for 30 seconds.

“We also do a trust game where they are blindfolded and led around obstacle courses by a friend,” McGrath added.

“It’s not a summer school. They have fun and they want to come.”

The small things can seem daunting to new students who aren’t familiar with the largest school in Knox County.

“Sometimes kids tell kids, ‘You have to go on the third, fourth floor.’ And some freshmen believe it. We tell them there’s no third and fourth floor,” McGrath said.

Students that come know more about the school and it’s not scary to them when it’s time for school to begin in August, McGrath added.

“We run them all through the building. They know where their classes are gonna be. We show them transcripts. Guidance counselors come in and the kids see them, meet them and get to know them. I also tell them there is a person there who helps seniors with scholarships.”

College preparation begins as a freshman.

“We explain to them what path you need to be on. We explain to them if they don’t choose to go to college, that’s fine, too. You just need to be happy. If your goal is to go to college, we talk about that,” McGrath said.

“We try to put in as much information in these 12 days to make them feel successful, comfortable and wanted,” she added.

“We want them know they can come to us at any time for any reason.

“We let them know we want your parents to be involved and comfortable with us.”

During summer insanity day, “I’ve seen Boost Camp students direct friends where to go. It gives them a confidence level,” McGrath said.

Students also learn transitional lessons in biology, English and algebra. There is a pre-test and a post-test to check student progress.

Students receive a .5 credit for attending the 12-day camp.

McGrath, Erin Ashe and Neely Tomas are planning the camp this year.

Campers will learn from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, July 19 – Aug. 5, at FHS.

Deadline to register is July 19, the first day of camp.

Call McGrath at 865-250-7447 for more information or to register.


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