RMHS Institutes New Program to Welcome Freshman

Weeks of Welcome for Freshmen debuts at RMHS.


Transitioning from middle school to high school is not always the smoothest process. For this reason, Mustang Week of Welcome (WOW) was implemented. WOW is a program made to introduce freshmen to RMHS by educating them on how to use school technology, resources and the general high school rules. On Aug. 14, the WOW program began and with it came many opinions.

The brain behind this new freshmen welcome program was English teacher Izabella Wnek. She previously taught at Elk Grove High School and was inspired by their “Freshmen First Days” program.

“There have been other [programs], different freshman orientations, that were implemented at RMHS before I arrived at the school, but nothing really stuck, so this year is Mustang WOW!” Wnek said.

Creating WOW was an involved and time intensive process. The program took a year of dedicated staff and planning to introduce the idea. The program had to be presented to the staff and there was a vote among students and faculty in order to determine whether or not the program would take shape for the following school year.

The vote showed that Mustang WOW was supported by staff, and students. We did survey SPAC representatives [before] we began the process of actually bringing Mustang WOW! to life” Wnek said.

The WOW program has had relatively positive feedback and also has some constructive criticism, especially from the Mustang Mighty Mentors (M3) and freshmen.

“My biggest recommendation is to cut WOW down so that it only takes up a day,” freshman Guiliana Rodruigues said.

Rodruigues also gave insight into what the program was like. The program, according to Rodruigues, “was very helpful and important” as a freshman transitioning into high school. Although she commented that she would rather have the WOW program before the school year starts, feeling that replacing it with freshmen orientation would help with starting off the school year with a normal school schedule by already introducing the information about high school before it starts.

Some of the curriculum taught during WOW covered material such as how to use the features on the iPads, an introduction to the various clubs and activities that RMHS offers, as well as what punishments that would be implemented for certain actions. Including the usual, be respectful, responsible and safe rules. After learning the basic information about high school, the freshmen would have about 20 to 30 minutes of free time. 

Junior M3s Amy Albert, Sanjitha Boobalan, Morgan Paoli and Yaraslau Varabyeu had positive opinions about the WOW programs. Their job was to get the freshmen to their activities and to make sure everything was running smoothly. All of them believe that the freshmen did benefit from the welcoming program.

“The freshmen got to learn about some things that I didn’t even know about [until] sophomore year,” Morgan Paoli said.

Paoli also goes on to state that two days of learning about iPads “would’ve saved” her a lot of time. It could be beneficial for the incoming freshman because they learn what most already attending students learn throughout the years.

The majority of the responses and reactions to the WOW program were favorable of the new educational direction. WOW still has a lot of modifications to be done for next year but is on the journey to becoming a groundbreaking program for the future freshmen.

“No matter what, I am excited to continue with Mustang WOW! because I truly believe it is the best thing for our freshmen and RMHS as a whole.” Wnek said.