The Ninth Grade Experience at Vistamar School brings together a unique curriculum and close partnership between the student, family, and school to ensure a successful transition from middle school.
The key to a successful transition is for the student to become more independent, and in particular, our first trimester is designed to be a forgiving one, with mechanisms in place to build student accountability and autonomy. Vistamar parents tell us often how grateful they are for the quick transfer of responsibility that occurred during freshman year.
Highlights of the Ninth Grade Experience:
Freshmen Institute – As an antidote to the “first day of high school jitters,” the entire freshman class is invited to campus for three half-days in August for the Freshmen Institute. During the Institute, ninth graders become more familiar with the school, their new classmates, the Vistamar culture, and some of their teachers. The activities are designed around the theme of “how to be a successful Vistamarian” and includes sessions on study skills, organizational skills, collaboration skills, and communication skills. It also gives students a glimpse into daily life at Vistamar.
Advisory program - Every student is assigned a faculty advisor who serves as an advocate and a primary point of contact between home and school. Our advisory groups are comprised of 9th - 12th grades, co-gendered, and stay together throughout the four year Vistamar experience. The advisor receives reports from other teachers and monitors each advisee’s progress with calls home and/or conversations with the student as necessary. Advisors meet with their group of advisees once a week.
- Health & Wellness - The ninth grade Health and Wellness program creates a space for students to learn what it means to be a part of the Vistamar School community. The goal of the Health and Wellness program is to intentionally craft culture on campus and support our incoming students in successfully transitioning into the community. This program, inspired by Charis Denison's Human Development curriculum, delves into the areas of identity formation, sexual health and consent, responsible technology use, gender roles/relationships, positive risk taking, and leadership skills. Social media, film, guest speakers, and current events will be utilized throughout the program. In addition, the ninth grade will be joined by members of the Student Wellness Advocate Team (S.W.A.T.), a group of juniors and seniors selected and trained to serve as student-mentors
Individual support - Dedicated time for extra help is built into the daily schedule in the form of Office hours where teachers, advisors, Dean of Students and Counselor/Learning Specialist, are easily accessible.
Vistamar recognizes that high school is also a transition for the parents. With that in mind, we welcome parents to visit with other parents at “Parents on the Patio,” attend morning meeting, the new family dinner, and the 9th grade parent party.
Enjoy all that 9th grade has to offer – because it will be over in the blink of an eye!