East High School taking part in new program to help incoming fre - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

East High School taking part in new program to help incoming freshmen stay on track

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Encouraging students to come to school and get good grades, that's the overall goal of a new program taking place at East High School in Waterloo.

School bells are just around the corner and staff members say this new program will help ease the transition for incoming freshmen, which can be tough.

Some staff members are calling families of incoming 9th graders and setting up face-to-face meetings with students and their family members at their homes. Together, they go over goals, the importance of attendance and other things that will help set students up for success.

It's something 9th grade teacher Wade Timmins wanted to bring to East after attending a state-wide conference, hearing other Iowa schools' success stories.

He says, "The transition from middle school to high school can be really tough. This helps you get to know them, and start having that relationship, that open communication so they can feel comfortable."

It's a conversation that has helped Dora Flores as she is about to send her first child to high school.

"We are a bit nervous, it's a big change," she says.

By having that open communication, Timmins is hoping attendance and grades will increase. 

"We have become more close with the teachers and know more about our kids. We need to know what is happening around them," she says.

It helps get everyone on the same page for a successful school year. 

Timmins says, "We are here to help support them and we are working as a team to make that transition into high school, to make their experience successful."

Timmins says they've already met with about 80 percent of the incoming freshmen and their family.  The school also plans to have a couple more meetings throughout the school year with them, making sure everything is still on track. 

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