On July 27, incoming freshmen students filled the Mt. Vernon High School gym for "Freshman Kick-Off 2016". The high school orientation featured student mentors, a.k.a. Marauder Mentors, who answered questions, gave advice and soothed the underclassmen's anxieties.
Many freshmen experienced portions of the high school in the 8th Grade Academy, however the transition into high school can be challenging for any student. The Freshman Kick-Off gave students a verbal tutorial on selecting classes, the importance of their grade point average, expanded extracurricular opportunities, expectations they may be facing, as well as a full facility tour. Students received their class schedule and locker assignment, met their administrators, received a t-shirt and had lunch provided. The Marauder Mentors also taught the freshmen dances that were performed collectively at the end of the day.
The goal of the program is to have a successful transition to high school and have an outstanding first year. Research has shown that freshmen attendees earned a higher grade point average, participated in extracurricular opportunities, and have had fewer disciplinary issues than freshmen peers who did not attend.