DOWNEY -- All of Downey High came together to welcome and inform the incoming freshmen class during the annual Future Freshmen Parent/Student Orientation Night last Thurs. Apr. 22 at 6 pm."The purpose is just to give parents an insight to what the high school is because a lot of the parents are nervous," said DHS Principal Thomas Houts. "They want to see the programs that are offered. It's very successful." A series of performances from DHS's own drum line, color guard, dance team, and pep squad made up the opening of the orientation, stirring up excitement in over a thousand students and parents who attended the event. Following the performances were various discussions from DHS administration and other faculty members, as well as presentations from ASB. The official DHS welcome ended with a video presentation called "Vikingland," providing comedy for the audience and adding to the fun of the event until all were allowed to browse the many tables of DHS organizations made available. "The incoming freshmen are being informed on what to expect here at Downey High School," says DHS senior and representative of the club, BELLA, Brittany Colenzo. "They're getting a little preview on what the next four years are going to be like, and signing up for these clubs that they have set up here will help them out a lot. Having them do this as eighth graders now will really help them as freshmen, sophomore, and juniors to come. It's one way to get noticed by the school and to be involved in your school and school activities, and it's really helpful." Music played loudly in the background as future ninth grade students and their parents lined up along tables consisting of DHS sports teams, clubs, and other organizations. Many groups only sought to inform students while others were recruiting. All, however, attempted to grab the attention of these incoming freshmen so as to incite the urge to get involved now. One incoming freshmen who was affected in a positive way was Faustino Diaz from East Middle School. "It actually helped me to get more involved," said Diaz. "It helped me a lot. Supposedly, most of the students say it's going to be hard but I feel now that it's going to be better because of this orientation." It would appear that the orientation not only proved to be successful with the incoming students, but also with their parents. One such parent of a future freshman was mother, Marina Robleck. "This was very helpful and informative," said Robleck. "I'm feeling a little nervous for him but I think he's going to be fine. I think the fact that they advised them to join a lot of clubs is going to be helpful and hopefully, he has a good time here. From a scale of one to ten, I think tonight was a ten. Everything was very informative and I'm glad we came." It appears that, according to faculty, parents and most importantly students all deeming this event a success, the Future Freshmen Parent/Student Orientation Night did what it was meant to do: inform and welcome the incoming students of DHS.
********** Published: April 30, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 2