WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) — When students go from middle school or junior high to high school, the transition can be stressful.
That's why one local high school has reconfigured its classroom layout for freshman students.
At West Point High School, freshmen are only on the north campus.
They're participating in a program called 9th Grade Academy.
"It's working pretty good," said Jason Barnette, freshman student. "All the classes are pretty easy to get to, and it's all kind of in there together."
"Well, it is a good thing because it is safer," added Lillian Cothren, freshman student. "I guess it's quicker for everyone to get from class to class."
By keeping the 9th graders in one central location inside one of two campuses, this should enhance student safety.
"We want to make sure our students in 9th grade don't have that stress or pressure to hold up and do the things that seniors do where they park and talk and do things a certain way," said Mario Willis, principal. "We want to make sure they are strictly within small learning groups where they can thrive and focus on academics more than socialization."
During December, the high school faculty and staff will evaluate the academy and implement changes in January if they are necessary.
"We want to make sure that these students are successful as possible," added Wynesther Cousins, associate principal. "So we will make sure that what we're doing is working as far as academics go and behavior."
Another purpose behind the academy is that it will hopefully increase the graduation rate of students.
"Research has shown that this is a good process," said Willis. "[We're] going to look at our data next year, and hopefully, this will be a process that stays in place for a lot of years to come."