The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Tepp implements ninth-grade check-ins to support high school transition

Claire Kim
LET’S CHAT. Dean of Students Stacy Tepp has asked all freshman students to meet with her for individual check-ins in semester two. They have discussed challenges and successes from ninth-grade, as well as goals for the future.

“How has the experience of ninth grade been? How was the transition from middle school? What’s been good and what’s been challenging?” These are just a few questions Dean of Students Stacy Tepp has been asking freshmen in individual check-ins throughout the second semester.

In comparison to the student-led mid-semester conferences, which were focused on developing leadership skills, Tepp explained that the main goal of the ninth-grade check-ins is simply to get to know students better. “I feel like I know everybody’s name and stuff in 10th, 11th and 12th [grade], and I really just don’t know the ninth-graders super well,” she said.

Additionally, the check-ins are another way to identify difficulties and offer support to students, which could mean anything from contacting advisors or working with a learning plan. “… It’s been helpful to hear, from what I’ve heard, overall homework is pretty manageable, but there’s a few students who are really struggling with it,” she said. “So it’s been good to try to get specific help or make some plans or, you know, talk with your advisor about it.”

While the check-ins have been used to support students’ academic lives and to help navigate certain situations, Tepp mainly emphasized “connecting those things that are really unique to students to names and faces.” By asking about personal interests and other activities, Tepp hopes to connect with freshmen early in their high school careers.

Freshman Sunde Auberjonois felt that the check ins were a helpful method for setting goals and appreciated the effort from administrators to meet with each student. “I thought that it gave me an understanding of what the administration is trying to do in terms of getting in touch with the students,” she said.

I feel like I know everybody’s name and stuff in 10th, 11th and 12th [grade], and I really just don’t know the ninth-graders super well.

— Stacy Tepp

Auberjonois brought some issues that she and her friends had been having with the administration to the meeting, and she also discussed her goals for the rest of the year. For other freshmen, Auberjonois recommends keeping the meeting light and “[making] sure you’re honest about your goals and where you want to be in the next four years.”

The main challenge for Tepp has been finding time to meet with individual students, as larger school events during the first semester delayed the current check-ins to later in the year. However, Tepp hopes to continue meeting with freshmen in the coming years to get to know them and to help them adjust to high school. “I think it’s important to continue because those are the students that are new,” she said. Tepp also considers checking in with new students in other grades to be a possibility in the future.

Freshmen can sign up for individual meetings through a Google Form linked in the Student Newsletter.

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About the Contributor
Claire Kim
Claire Kim, co-Editor in Chief
My name is Claire Kim (she/her). I work as a co-editor-in-chief for The Rubicon, and I have previously worked as the Opinions Editor, Music Editor, and Staff Writer. At school, I’m a captain of SPARKS Swim and Dive and the fencing team, and I’m also a co-president of Asian Student Alliance. I love listening to music and translating in my free time. I can be reached at [email protected].

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