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Freshmen and new-to-district student orientation day set for Tuesday, Sept. 5, first day of school

(08/02/2023) Getting off to a strong start at a new school is a key strategy for ensuring students feel safe, welcome and ready to maximize opportunities. When school begins for the 2023-24 school year on Sept. 5, freshmen and new-to-district students at Anoka-Hennepin’s five traditional high schools will participate in a series of activities that aim to ease the transition to high school and build a foundation for academic success.  

What does this mean for freshmen (ninth-graders) and new-to-district students?
Freshmen and new-to-district students will attend school as usual. Students will attend orientation activities as a group and then attend classes on a modified schedule. Arrival and dismissal times remain the same. Student transportation, nutrition and other school day programs will be offered. 

What does this mean for sophomores, juniors and seniors (grades 10-12)?
Senior, junior and sophomore students at the listed schools will not be required to attend school in person on this day. The first day of school for grades 10, 11 and 12 will be Wed., Sept. 6. 

Which schools are involved?
The freshmen and new-to-district orientation day schedule involves students who attend Andover High School, Anoka High School, Blaine High School, Champlin Park High School,  Coon Rapids High School and students in the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP). Students who are scheduled to attend STEP classes will have the option to attend tours on-site. STEP will communicate to families directly.
Students who attend River Trail Learning Center, Compass programs, Post-secondary education opportunities (PSEO),  Regional High School or Technical High School will attend school in-person on the regular bell schedule. Student transportation and nutrition programs will be offered.  

What are the activities for freshmen and new-to-district students? 
Students will have opportunities to be involved in first day activities such as, but not limited to: school handbook review, review of mental health supports for students, bus safety, reviewing the district secondary handbook, getting-to-know-you activities in advisory, and classroom self-directed activities. Students will also follow a modified schedule of classes. 

What about special education students?
All students in special education programs will align to the schedule as outlined in this document. Only ninth grade and new to district students will attend in person. Other students will be contacted individually to determine options for attendance at school in-person for this day.