The Freshman Academy is in its sixth year and it becomes better with each passing year. The implementation of the Freshman Academy allows for several programs that improve student success and the transition from Junior High/Middle School into High School. These include an eight period day, Math and Literacy
Support, teachers/students divided into teams, and organizations and events specific to Freshmen.
Freshmen have an eight-period day rather than the upperclassmen seven- period day. The eight-period day benefits Freshmen in a variety of ways. First, Freshmen arrive at Joliet West around 7:00-7:15 am and their first class begins at 7:20 (1st Period). Freshmen are the only students in the building at the start of each day. Second, this schedule allows Freshmen to take two electives rather than one. Finally, the eight-period day allows for the scheduling of Freshman lunch periods.
The Freshman Academy gives students the opportunity to take Math and Literacy Support classes. These courses offer students strategies and instruction to improve their Math aptitude and Literacy proficiency. These two electives help students adapt to the rigor of the high school curriculum , as well as achieve academic success. The Freshman Academy staff is divided into six teams of teachers each serving approximately 125 students. Each team of teachers consists of the following subject areas: Algebra 1, World Affairs, Biology, English 1, Literacy/Math Support, and Physical Education. This “teaming” structure allows teachers to discuss integration of content, student concerns, and gives parents better feedback regarding academic progress of their student.
Finally, all Freshmen are encouraged to participate in school-wide athletic programs and clubs. However, the Freshman Academy has specific organizations available to Freshman only. The Freshman Leadership Advisory Program (FLAG) meets weekly to develop the school leaders of the future. The Conservation Club gives Freshmen an opportunity to earn community service hours during their Advisory period once a week.
The Freshman Academy also prepares students to choose what Career Academy they would like to go in to for their sophomore, junior, and senior years. The Freshman Academy staff assists our students in this endeavor, as well as assists them with the rigors of the high school curriculum. We have many support systems in place for our students, and we stay true to our motto "we will do whatever it takes" to ensure your student has a successful experience their Freshman year at Joliet West!