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Opinion: New Freshman Seminar for the Class of 2026

By Brandon Archer and Madison Steptoe

As upperclassmen may know, there have been many recent changes to White Plains High School. One of the more notable changes is to the schedule on Tuesdays.

For the first time, White Plains High School has something called “Freshman Seminar.” As Freshmen, we can tell you how our first seminar went and why it now exists.

Seminars exist for Freshmen to build better bonds with peers and school counselors on their given team (Tigers or Dubset). We are both on Dubset. Each group meets every other Tuesday with their house administrators and counselors. The first seminar was during second period. Next seminar, the Tigers will have it during third period, and the timing of seminar will continue to change throughout the year. Over the past two weeks, students did a “Kahoot!” game about the core rules of the school and Principal Martinez, and the top three students won a prize. Afterward, we looked at a presentation of the administration, counselors, and who’s in which house.

We’ve both experienced Freshmen seminar and have different opinions on it. Here are Madison’s thoughts:

"I thought it was important for the first day to get to know the staff and to test our knowledge with a fun game. For the first time being on team Dubset, I thought it wasn’t so bad. But in my opinion, it can use a couple of changes."

"First, the schedule for Tuesday’s Seminar. On the days of Seminar, there is a different schedule with different bells. Also, seminar is during a different period every week, which can get confusing from time to time. It can also be puzzling for upperclassmen who aren’t in Seminar. The different schedule shortens up the periods by a few minutes which leaves about 20 minutes for the presentation. The shortened class times can get really mixed up and sometimes you don’t know when the period ends and when to pack up if you don’t have the schedule. Besides these two flaws, I think that Seminar is a nice new addition to the Freshmen in the future."

Brandon had a different view point about the seminar:

"I believe that Freshman Seminar was a good idea. I believe this for two reasons. I thought it was important that everyone in the building got to know the adults they will be talking to for the next four years at White Plains High School. I also thought it was a good idea because I got to see and talk to some friends that are not in any of my classes this year."

As you can see, there are some positives and negatives to the new Freshman seminar. Only time will tell if Freshman Seminar is worth it.

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