FreSMITH Academy


Elysse Weber

Lead of the freshman academy. Known as the coordinator, Joshua Smith.

Elysse Weber, Staff Writer

Freshman academy is a program that has spread throughout many high schools over the years.  The program has many benefits and has grown to be very helpful for both teachers and students. At LHS, the program has been very successful according to the head coordinator, Joshua Smith.

Smith is the root of the program, as he keeps everything in line.  He loves what he does for his students but how exactly does he maintain everything in control and what is his role?

“My job as a freshman academy coordinator is that I get paid for helping people. There’s a new challenge every day, I come to work with a plan, and that plan changes every day because I always get to work with someone new,” said Smith. “I get to be positive and encouraging and help kids get through tough times and celebrate their achievements.” 

Freshman Academy is a time when teachers can get together and communicate about their students. 

“It’s a structural support system that allows teachers to meet during the day about their shared students,” said Smith. “And from that, they can develop intervention plans to help students become the most successful they can, in the areas of academics, social and behavioral.”

Freshman academy has shown great success over the years, and that is why they use this system. It allows better academic performance for students and helps students go through their first year of high school with a positive mindset. Something about the system that is highly beneficial, is that the freshman academy teachers can be their students’ biggest supporters.

“The biggest benefit I’d say would be the communication, because they meet,” said Smith. “It doesn’t go through emails. It also helps ninth graders know that there’s more attention placed on them to make sure they make it, and that they don’t slip through the cracks.”

However, there are also some challenges and obstacles with the program.

“One of the challenges is that the non-core classes are not included in the freshman academy so they can’t have the same conversations with the freshman academy teachers,” said Smith. “They know which students should go to win, power lunch, etc.” 

Overall, the freshman academy is what helps freshmen stay in line and keeps them thriving. According to Smith, it doesn’t take much to start off high school the right way.

“It takes three things: show up every day, do the work, and be nice,” said Smith. “If you do that you’ll be fine in high school.”