During the March 2019 RISE conference in Boston, school teams reviewed college readiness and college enrollment and persistence data that allowed them to see the variation in postsecondary experiences of different groups of students. The East Hartford High School (EHHS) team noticed that one group of students—students who transferred in the middle of a school year—experienced more challenges compared to their peers. At the end of the conference, the EHHS team committed to developing a new support structure for these midyear transfer students.
This year, EHHS is implementing a new Hornet Induction Program designed to ease the transition for students coming from another district, state, or country. The Hornet Induction Program provides new students with opportunities to connect with the EHHS school community by creating a peak moment for incoming EHHS students to help ensure that the new students feel welcome.
Induction ceremonies take place monthly for any student who entered EHHS during the prior month. All Grade 10 through 12 students enrolling in August were inducted on Thursday, September 26th. Moving forward, all Grade 9 through 12 newcomers will be inducted monthly. At the induction ceremony, students watch a school overview video, Summer Leadership Institute student leaders talk about the importance of being involved in the Hornet Community, and inductees cross the auditorium stage and receive a hornet pin from one of their grade-level peers. To conclude the program, students enjoy a continental breakfast. Importantly, EHHS promotes continuous learning and improvement by having students reflect on the start of their EHHS experience via an “exit slip,” a brief survey they are asked to fill out before the end of the session.