South Orangetown Central School District

This morning, Tappan Zee High School ninth graders visited South Orangetown Middle School classrooms to talk with eighth graders about what their experience has been like during their first year of high school.

 Beginning with an assembly led by TZHS Principal Rudy Arietta, along with TZHS science teacher Brian Newburger, math teacher Dino Doremus, social studies teacher Bernadette Carroll and English teacher Mark Stanford, eighth graders heard about what to expect as they prepare for the transition to high school and course selections. “Tappan Zee High School is a tight-knit community that is made up of people who are there to teach you and support you every step of the way,” Arietta explained. “As you prepare to make your course selections over the next few weeks, know that you have a voice in what electives you take and whether you choose to take regents, honors or AP level courses.”   

Over 30 freshman ambassadors spoke with incoming ninth graders about everything they need to know about academics, extracurriculars and what they can expect when arriving at the high school next fall. They offered advice about how students can navigate balancing coursework with extracurriculars, what the credit requirements are, best study practices and more:

  • “Don’t take an elective just because you know a friend that’s in the class if it isn’t a topic that you’re interested in. Choose your electives based on your own interests.”
  • “There are so many different club options so it’s easy to find one, if not a few, clubs to join based on your interests. A lot of them meet once a month so you may have time to participate in more than one club.”
  • “If you play sports, it’s important to find balance between games, practices and your school work. Make sure you stay on top of your assignments because school always comes first.”
  • “If your teacher offers extra credit opportunities, do them! Even if you’re doing well in the class, it can really help your grade if you miss a homework assignment or don’t do well on a test.”

 Over the next few weeks, students will have the chance to review their course selections with their guidance counselors and will get to tour TZHS later this month.

Ninth graders talking with eighth grade class about high school