Every freshman, and several sophomores begin each day with a brand-new class designed to help ease the transition to high school. Titled “Strategies for Success,” the course was developed and is taught by registrar Kelly Taitano.

Practical skills and strategies are taught and practiced in the context of actual assignments the students are getting from other classes. This week, Mrs. Taitano is introducing the concept of learning styles. When I popped into take pictures, students were learning to set their Bible I memory verse to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to help them memorize. Later, they tossed balls to each other, each saying a line from the memory verse. Before the class closed, they were using a gesture game to recognize and remember grammatical moods of sentences.

The class also teaches such skills as keeping an assignment planner and calendar, keeping a backpack organized, taking notes, being prepared for class, and asking good questions. “My goal is to give them strategies to become independent learners who take ownership of their educational journeys,” Mrs. Taitano said. It looks like they’re off to a good start.