CLOVER, S.C. - Starting high school can be exciting or terrifying for ninth graders. Clover High School will welcome 600 of these students later this month and they hope to make the transition from middle school a little smoother.
"I'm ready to see them," said Ann Carol Love, Assistant Principal at Clover High School's Ninth Grade Campus. "I'm ready for them to hit the doors.
It's been two years since the halls of the former Clover Middle School were filled with students. The building, which sits next door to the High School has undergone an extensive face life. You can still smell the newness in the bright white main hall with a large bright Blue Eagle in the center of the floor.
"All of our ninth graders will be housed here, all of their classes will be here except for a few," said Maurice Johnson, ninth Grade Campus Principal.
Johnson's school is just for 9th graders. After a year with him, students will move on to the main campus next door.
"In many ways, there are two schools opening on the sense that the ninth-grade campus will be new ,but the high school campus with 10th, 11th and 12th-graders will be different then it was last year," said Clover High School Principal Rod Ruth.
Ninth graders had been housed in a separate wing at the high school, but still interacted with upperclassmen. Mandy educators consider ninth grade the most important year in high school and a determining factor if students will graduate or drop out.
"We've seen that ninth grade and that transition to ninth grade is pivotal, if they find success in ninth grade, typically they find success in high school," said Love.
Johnson says the focus they have placed on freshman have led to positive results and they believe this will take students even further.
"Our graduation rate has continued to climb, and we think it's because of our focus on ninth-grade students and we want to continue that," Johnson declared.
Ninth graders are expected to arrive on campus August 15 for Freshman Day to familiarize themselves with their new home for the next year. School officially begins August 17.