Mid-year transfers address the challenges of getting acclimated


Maria Broecker

Sophomore Gabriela Rodriguez is one of the students who transferred mid-year to RHS from California.

Maria Broecker

Sophomore Gabriela Rodriguez walks through the halls of RHS mid-year for her first day. Being from California, she is one of the tannest girls in the midst of everyone’s pale skin from one of Michigan’s coldest winters. She tentatively manages to maneuver her way around the large high school for her first day with the help of new friends.

“On the first day my counselor set me up with this girl, and she showed me around, where to go, so that was nice,” Rodriguez said.

With the help of the RHS community, other mid-year transfer students were also able to receive help while being the “new kid.”

“I have had different people come up to me randomly and talk to me or when I didn’t really have anyone to sit with,” sophomore Josh Brooks said. “They asked if I wanted to sit with them.”

Counselors also play an important role in a student’s transition, especially mid-year.

“I always try to get to know the student and suggest different clubs and activities they can be involved in to help meet new friends,” counselor Aliyah Caggins said. “We also, pair the student up with a student council student.”

In addition to making new friends and getting acclimated to a new environment, students also experience different academic expectations when compared to their previous school.

“First their families need to register with the board office. Once that process is complete, they need to call the counseling secretary and schedule an appointment with the counselor,” Mrs. Caggins said.

Sophomore Chino Williams, who transitioned from Detroit Public Schools in January, said the process was somewhat complicated.

“It took a lot,” Williams said. “I came here, like, six or seven times and they kept asking me to go back to my other school, first time was for transcripts.”

It’s not only the requirements and academics that are different for these transfer students, but the social environment and the structure of the new school vary as well.

“The biggest thing is probably my old school, everything was outside” Rodriguez said. “We didn’t have hallways like this, so I thought it was really different and it seems so much bigger. I think I have gotten lost at least five times.”

Even if sending and confirming the grades and classes to the new school is a success, transferring mid-year does have its drawbacks.

“For students that transfer mid-year, they don’t have the benefit of all of the beginning of the year activities: the assemblies with the principals, the club fair, and all of the fun ice breaker activities that teachers do in the classrooms to get to know the students,” Mrs. Caggins said.

After finishing up the paperwork and adjusting to the new school and students, the transfer students have been able to focus on their future at RHS.

“The Rochester Community has been great; they have embraced me. I feel welcome and all the teachers are nice,” Williams said. “People here are very friendly, students have helped me to classes because I didn’t know where anything was, and they helped me with my books.”