How We Support Our New 9th Graders

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Hello, future 9th graders! Beginning high school is pivotal for all students and can certainly come with some butterflies. Thoughts and questions flood our minds from every direction. What time does class start? I’m not used to writing essays this long! Where do I sit in the dining hall? Am I signed up for the right activity?

Luckily, at New Hampton School, we have sturdy support structures for all our new freshmen to fend off these complex questions and help you feel at home from the moment you arrive on campus.

Freshmen Seminar

One of the most important elements of the 9th-grade experience is Freshmen Seminar. This is a 3-pronged series of classes that get our 9th graders acclimated to school, and immediately start building the skills they will need to be successful at New Hampton. The three courses are:

Public Speaking

Students learn to effectively present to a group.  They learn skills such as voice projection, persuasive speech, and timing. They also learn how to use digital presentation tools, such as PowerPoint and Prezi.

Mindfulness and Health

Students will learn the benefits of mindfulness on stress reduction; they will also learn about health topics such as sexual health, nutrition, and other self-care.

Equity and Social Justice

This section addresses issues such as socioeconomic disparity, the development of cultural norms, ableism, the social construct of gender, and stereotype threat.

Community Support

In addition to Freshman Seminar, we have a myriad of supports and opportunities to get our 9th graders plugged into the community right from the jump! These include:

  • First-year orientation camping trip at Burleigh Mountain (A New Hampton-owned mountain right across the street from campus!)
  • Weekly advisory group meetings are an integral part of the NHS experience and provide new students with a trusted adult.
  • Caring and nurturing house parents and proctors in each residential house.
  • Supervised study hall sessions during each 9th grader’s fall term free block.
  • Freshman Study Skills for the first 8 weeks of the year.
    • iPad tutorials, uploading assignments, and all the basic skills needed for a successful first year.


We’ve all been there before. The butterflies will come and go, and possibly come back again. My advice is: know that it may be clunky at times, but dive right in—you’ll be so glad you did! And, if you fall, we’re here to help you back up!


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