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Starting high school can be a nerve-wracking experience for most students, but the students at iSchool High of The Woodlands seem to experience a much more intense adjustment as they enter into our unique program and discover the freedom and flexibility of the college atmosphere.

Because of the self-motivated environment of our program, freshman students work through units on their own with help from their teachers and peers. Although they are challenged by a rigorous curriculum, these students learn extremely valuable skills that will help them as they progress through life. Our students become proficient in managing their time efficiently, advocating for themselves, constructing and maintaining positive character traits, and tailoring their study skills to fit their own needs.

Students were asked what advice they would relay to future freshman, and many of them offered the importance of learning how to manage your time. One student mentioned, “I have learned how to better manage my time and be more responsible for my own work.” This skill is key for our students and seems to be an aspect that many appreciate, especially as they advance into their college coursework.

This year we achieved a record high for freshman students enrolled in college. More than seventy percent of our freshmen were accepted into the dual-credit program. Our students have consistently proven that they are hardworking and dedicated, demonstrating that they are beyond capable of taking on college coursework, even at such a young age. Soon after winter break, students geared up and set out for their first day of class with much anticipation. Students expressed confidence and excitement: “I feel very good about my college classes. I knew exactly what to expect from them, and if it weren’t for the wonderful teachers, I probably would have been more nervous and unaware of my surroundings.”

And while some students embraced the full experience despite their first-day jitters, others found the process more daunting. One student expressed feeling “anxious and very nervous, but overall very excited and grateful.” Another said, “My first week in college has been an adjustment! I am still learning how to balance my college classes with my unit work. Overall, however, I am excited to be attending college, and I look forward to the rest of the semester.”

Though students were fearful of what lay ahead of them as they stepped out onto the Lone Star College campus (where iSchool High of The Woodlands is located), once they crossed the threshold of that classroom, they began to settle into the college lifestyle. After reflecting on the week, one student said, “It was really scary at first, but I feel like I will be able to handle it.” Another stated, “I feel pretty good about my first week. It hasn’t been too hard, and I love both of my classes.” The overarching perspective proved to be positive as students finished out their first week successfully.

The experience also provided students with some wisdom and foresight into their futures here at iSchool High of The Woodlands as well. When asked what they would alter if they could go back in time, one student mentioned, “If I could go back, I would definitely stress to myself the importance on getting ahead in the first semester. It would’ve made it easier on me with college, and it would’ve allowed me to start sophomore classes faster.” And across the board, students have been modifying their goals to mirror the insight they’ve gained.

As we look to the future, students are eager to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them through our program. One student claimed, “I’m able to get used to college and see how it works.” Another said, “iSchool has helped me mature and to be more responsible; it has helped me learn to prioritize, and it has made me hardworking.” All in all, it appears that students are building the competencies they need to succeed, which is our main goal here at iSchool High.

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