photos by Caroline Crane

With approximately 150 new students at Dripping Springs High School, the school has put their efforts into helping the new students adjust and feel like they’re a part of the DSHS community.

“The counseling team keeps a close eye on the new students,” Academic Advisor Brooke Johnson said, “and ​the PALS do a great job at organizing a meet and greet at the beginning of the school year for all new students.”

The school’s counseling team is there to help new students adjust but having a meet and greet intended for those students wasn’t always available.

“When I became the PALS sponsor 4 years ago, I initiated this program after the counselors expressed concern with how many new students didn’t have friends to eat with at lunch or a group to hang with outside of school,” math teacher Allyson Mayer said.

New students have the issue of trying to find a group to hang out with in and outside of school but the PALS try to be available to those students.

“When the committee chooses the PALS each year, we look for students who we believe will reach out to new students,” Mayer said. “We try to intervene with new students in the beginning of each school year and get them involved in a group that suits them well.”

For new students, some feel like they’re adjusting fine without programs such as the meet and greet but some still feel they struggle to meet people.

“As a school, I feel that DSHS is naturally a very welcoming and friendly environment,”  Johnson said. “Our students are very willing to assist a new student or invite them to a lunch table so they are not eating alone.”

Although new students may initially feel uncomfortable in their new environment and may not want to take the opportunities presented intended to help them, the welcoming members of the community are willing to help the adjusting process for those students.

“Feedback about the meet and greet is always positive and for the most part, the majority of new students adjust with ease,” Johnson said. “However, it does take effort by the new student and each are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone.”

Written by Ariane West

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