Helix First Program
We created the Helix First program as a way of helping our incoming students make a successful transition from middle school to high school. Our students come from a variety of schools and environments, so we've found that this program gives students a strong Helix-based foundation and prepares them both academically and socially for high school.
Freshman will be in this class all year long, every other day. On the other days, they go to ExL (Extended Learning), where they work in pods, do school work and get one-on-one help from our team of academic coaches. In Helix First, they will switch teachers and units each semester, providing them with a different classroom experience and set of tools. They learn the basics, like Helix terminology, how to use the online system Canvas and where things are located on campus. As they progress through the year, they learn how to set goals, pick courses and even start thinking about career pathways and applying to college. Students leave the course with an increased desire to succeed, improved academic reading and writing skills and better study habits.
We also have peer mentors that support this program. Upper class students serve as aids for freshmen. They help teach lessons to the class, help students with their work and serve as positive role models. These students also earn community service for helping out in the classrooms.
Helix First is an A-G approved course, which means it is recognized by the UC and Cal State systems.
Helix First Classes
Unit 1 - Introduction to Helix
Identify and engage with resources, programs and activities on campus and the Helix community
Unit 2 - Self-Connections
Reflect on and develop personal attributes and characteristics to improve their metacognition, awareness, and academic and personal potential
Unit 3 - College Unit
Research specific characteristics of college programs and the academic, social, and financial components to create an informative and persuasive presentation
Unit 4 - Career/ Finance
Identify their own skills and interests in order to research career field opportunities and the essential training and qualification for these fields. Identify the difference between cash, credit and debit for payments. Complete a W-2 and understand the taxation process with regard to a W-4.