As groggy teenagers sauntered off their school buses, their teachers and administrators greeted them with a ovation and some confetti as they walk into their new school.
McClure Health Science High School opened its doors to students Monday and it’s safe to say most of the school’s teachers and administrators were rosier than their students, some of whom were awakened by alarm clocks for the first time in months.
“Going to class, not getting lost and minding my own business,” is what Enrriqueta Maldonado said she was most looking forward to on the first day of school.
Still some got off the bus smiling, and that made the welcome party worth it for McClure Principal Nicole Mosley and her staff that have been preparing for the students’ arrival since before the 2018-19 school year ended.
“We want it to feel that everybody is welcome and that this is truly their home away from home,” Mosley said. “Every day is a new day, and we can all be excited about this opportunity.”
Students started the day in their homerooms for advisement, which was an introductory video about procedures at the new high school. They received purple schedules that showed when and where they would have each class.
McClure’s schedule is a mix of “skinny” and block schedule. Students met all of their teachers Monday, and followed the same schedule Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday operate on block schedule to accommodate weekly seminars. This week’s seminar is an orientation theme.
“A lot of it will probably be me, letting them know the ins and outs,” Mosley said.
The first guest speaker in the medical field will be the head nurse at Emory Johns Creek, Heather Rederick.
For most of the students, Monday’s celebratory introduction to McClure was their intro to high school. The freshman class at McClure is larger than the sophomore, junior and senior classes combined. The 351-person freshman class is more than half of the student body.
Most of the upperclassmen attended Meadowcreek High School last year. They were picked up at their local bus stops and transported first to Meadowcreek High School, only that wasn’t their buses’ final stop. Students formerly attending Meadowcreek were given the option to remain there or move to McClure, meaning the more than 600 students at McClure chose to be there.
Kerem Cayuch is a junior starting school at McClure and is interested in graphic design. She was disappointed to find out McClure wouldn’t offer courses in her creative interest. She’s still looking forward to the industry experiences she’ll have as a McClure student.
“It’s not bad to try new things,” Cayuch said. “I came here to try it out and if I don’t like it, I could go back.”
That doesn’t mean that the school’s curriculum won’t evolve to fit more interests in the future, perhaps continuing to add the health-science spin.
“As we get to know the students, we’ll continue to see what opportunities they like and continue to meet their needs,” Mosley said.
Mosley said overall the feedback she received from parents at last week’s open house was positive. Some that work in the health care industry themselves and were eager for their children to have the opportunity to focus on clinical, medical support and health information technology fields prior to college is invaluable.