Boot camp gives incoming Calvert freshmen a leg up


Students paint rocks to put in courtyard during Calvert High’s Freshmen Boot Camp. (Boot camp article; photo by Cathy Sutton)

Angelique Gingras, Contributor

Calvert High School hosted its second Freshman Boot Camp from Aug. 6 through 8. This program gave incoming ninth-graders at Calvert a chance to get acclimated to their new school, find their classes and meet new people. 

The boot camp took place in two sessions, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., so as many incoming freshmen could attend as possible. It was put together and hosted by Vice Principal Cathy Sutton and visual arts teacher Kristen Ratcliff. 

“The program is set to help incoming ninth-graders feel more comfortable with the transition to high school,” said Sutton. “They have the chance to meet face to face with teachers, peers and upperclassmen.” 

The incoming freshmen attended sessions during the boot camp featuring staff, upperclassmen and other resources around the county. Guffrie Smith, from the Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth, presented to students the importance of asset development. Representatives from Calvert Library also talked about how their resources can help the incoming ninth-graders throughout their high school career. 

In addition, students received information about what kind of work would be involved in their core classes from staff members who may be teaching their classes. Charles Morgan, a ninth-grade English teacher at Calvert High, and Jessica Bright, a ninth-grade biology teacher, helped students learn important writing skills in their session Aug. 7. 

“The Freshman Boot Camp gives students the opportunity to build their confidence before school actually starts,” Morgan said. “This is a great program put together by Mrs. Sutton.” 

Upperclassmen, part of Calvert’s new Student Leaders Program, also participated in the activities by hosting a student panel and giving insight about what high school is really like. The student leaders led a tour around the school and showed the freshmen where their new classes will be. 

“The participants of this program will have an upper hand because they are becoming familiarized with the building and have skills set that will help them this year,” Ratcliff said. 

The Freshman Boot Camp was followed by a dinner Aug. 9, where students received a certificate of completion and a Class of 2022 T-shirt. 

The writer is part of the Young Journalists Program, a partnership between Calvert County Public Schools and The Calvert Recorder. This article was originally published in the Calvert Recorder on August 31, 2018. 

Incoming freshmen sit for a lesson from the PBIS team on ‘How to Survive High School’ during Freshman Boot Camp. (Boot camp article; taken by Cathy Sutton)