Oli’s faculty and staff have support systems in place to ensure mid-year transfers have what they need to thrive academically.
Switching schools can be stressful, especially if that switch takes place midway through the school year. That’s why at Oli, we’ve developed social, emotional, and academic support structures designed to help students successfully navigate a mid-year transition.
We sat down with Abby Hood, Oli’s Director of Academics, to learn more about the academic support that faculty and staff provide to new students.
One of the most significant resources Oliverian students have access to is what we call their “team.” Whether students arrive at the beginning of the year or somewhere in the middle, they are assigned an academic advisor, a counselor, and a dorm parent that together function as their team.
Three times each week, Oli students meet with their academic advisor during office hours to discuss coursework, review their workload, set goals, and identify areas that need improvement. A student’s academic advisor helps oversee their transition into the academic program, works to understand the student’s skills, and helps ensure that the student is challenged to continue growing. Students can also use office hours to meet with other teachers if there’s a concept or assignment they may be having trouble with.
“The academic advisor is critical,” says Hood. “Knowing that your advisor is available, that your teachers are available, is really helpful for students who are adjusting to academics at a new school.”
Along with prior transcripts, a student’s current or most recent course load informs how we put together their class schedule at Oli. When a student first arrives on campus with their parents, we sit down together to ensure they understand everything we offer, and create a plan that provides as much continuity as possible.
The number of classes a student takes will vary based on how their schedule works — some of our classes are scheduled in a block of two hours, while others meet three days a week for one hour. A typical class schedule includes a humanities class — which is an integrated English and social studies class — science, math, core language, and two to three electives courses in the arts, adventure, or stewardship. Arts, adventure, and stewardship classes only last a quarter at a time, so students have the opportunity to choose new electives every few months.
“It’s important for new students and their parents to remember that it’s normal to be anxious during a transition,” says Hood. “They can take comfort knowing that we do this all the time, and our teachers have developed specific ways to support transfer students.” In fact, many of our teachers have designed a class curriculum that students can enter at any time, or have identified key concepts that they can help students catch up with if they are arriving partway through the year.
Bottom line? Nobody gets left behind.
A mid-year academic transition may feel stressful. At Oli, our teachers are here to help manage that transition — making sure every student is set up for success.
“Just do your best in the coursework you’re currently taking until you arrive at Oliverian” says Hood, “and we’ll help you keep up the good work once you get here.”