familybarbequeAmong the students and parents who mingled at the RBR Freshmen Orientation barbeque were (L-R) Eric, Sherry and Emily Jaramillo (Millstone); Bettina and Freshman Raymond Forbes (Red Bank); Whitney, Jack, Emily and Jim Dee (Little Silver).

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School   

On Wednesday, August 26, nearly 300 new ninth graders were told This is a great time to be a Buc,” as the Red Bank Regional High School Freshman Orientation welcomed the Class of 2019 to the school’s campus.

For several hours, the students were shepherded around their new and much larger school by RBR Student to Student Peer leaders as the newbies acquired student IDs, set-up computer student accounts, learned how to open lockers, and ran through their daily schedules. They also received the “inside scoop” from the upper classman in peer-on-peer meetings to answer all freshmen questions.

“It’s a big school.” one ninth grader anxiously remarked. “Will the teachers be okay if you are late the first day of class?”

“They know that this is all still new to you. They will be lenient the first week of class, but better be on time after that,” came the sage reply.

The extra care exhibited at the Freshman Orientation actually continues throughout the freshman year in the form of the Freshman Academy, set up nine years ago to demystify the large-school building environment. The students are heterogeneously assigned to three smaller houses, where they share the same teachers and core classes for most of the day. Most importantly, their teachers have common teacher planning times to coordinate cross-curricular learning themes and keep abreast of student progress.

Freshmen parents later joined the students for an information session hosted by the school’s administration and staff. Principal Risa Clay encouraged her new students to all get involved in school life, and in order to help students decide which of the 40-plus clubs and activities appealed to them, most were represented in the school’s Commons by current club and activity members. Principal Clay also encouraged the class of 2019 to follow her Twitter Account (@PrincipalClay) for the latest updates on school activities and messages. Principal Clay is a prolific tweeter, and boasts over 1900 followers and 3300 tweets!

Athletic Director Del Dal Pra (who is also in charge of overseeing the 40 previously stated clubs, as well as 26 varsity sports offered at RBR) echoed Principal Clay’s recommendation to join extra-curricular programs, stating that “If you are on the bus at 2:30 pm, you are not getting the complete high school experience.”

He also informed the parents and their children about the exciting new upgrades to the high school campus, including new boys and girls lockers, a new gym floor and a 2700 square foot fitness center. Although the addition should be completed by the first day of school, its furnishings will be supplied by ongoing donations from the community.

Interim Superintendent Tom Pagano also addressed the gathering, following which all attendees repaired to the school cafeteria (and spilled out to the patio) for a Welcome Class of 2019 barbecue.