Making the Transition to High School

by Aimee Yllanes

Freshman year of high school is a time of immense change for students. CRMS provides intentional programming that prepares and supports 9th graders for the new challenges introduced by a college-preparatory residential program. We have a team of teachers focused explicitly on the 9th-grade class who work together to help students build performance and moral character. These teachers oversee an interdisciplinary, values-based curriculum that emphasizes collaboration and responsibility in both the classroom and community. One shared attribute of freshman year is Freshman Seminar, which features topics such as self-esteem, diversity, physical health, human sexuality, drug and alcohol awareness, and study skills.

In addition to Ashley Smith, CRMS’s Director of Counseling, teaching specific topics around health and wellness, this program hosts guest speakers to help educate our students on particular issues. As of today, Ashley has met with students five times since the beginning of the academic year. The topics that have been covered include the physiology of stress and stress management, mental health 101, the science of sleep, healthy relationships and teen dating, consent, and sexual assault. The guest speakers who have visited so far include: Sarah Buckley, who is the outreach educator from the Advocate Safehouse Project. Their mission is to promote healthy relationships free from violence through education, advocacy, empowerment, and safe-housing. Megan Hurley, the senior therapist from River Bridge Child Advocacy Center, also met with students and facilitated activities and discussions around sexual assault, consent, and responsibility. She brought her sidekick, Fraser – the center’s therapy dog. River Bridge Regional Center is a nationally accredited nonprofit child advocacy center, utilizing a child-centered, multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, assessment, treatment, and investigation of child abuse.

The wellness curriculum for the ninth grade will continue throughout the year. Upcoming topics during Wellness week (October 14-16) will include drug and alcohol use and abuse and vaping. Other topics covered throughout the year include suicide prevention, internet safety, and social media, sex education, study skills, and exam preparation.

For more information on the Freshman Core visit:

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Mission, Wellness

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