By Maddy PUMILIA
Incoming Clark Magnet High School freshmen and their families were welcomed by staff members, upperclassmen, members of the Parent Teacher Student Association and the school’s new mascot at orientation on Saturday morning. The orientation was held on the school’s New York Avenue campus in La Crescenta.
“I’m excited to go here because I’m going to learn at this school,” said Tiedra Mahmoudi. “The school is really good since all the students have to get good grades.”
Mahmoudi’s mom was also happy her daughter would be attending Clark in the fall, due in part to the “stricter rules” that the school employs. She added that she felt that magnet schools helped students focus more on their studies.
Assistant Principal Kristina Provost was the first to greet the students and their families. She told the students about the school’s dress code and cellphone policy, then the students were divided into groups of 10 and assigned to an upperclassmen for a tour of the campus. The older students also acted as mentors for their group.
“It’s basically a welcome,” said Provost of the orientation. “[The mentors give] freshmen a connection to someone on campus before school starts.”
The new Clark families had the option of donating seven dollars to the Parent Teacher Student Association. The organization was hoping to have at least 150 people donate on Saturday.
“The Parent Teacher Student Association raises funds to support the school to enhance students’ learning experience,” explained Aida Mousessian, the PTSA president.
Students were accepted to Clark through a lottery system. Every year, approximately 300 to 340 seats are given to new students. Each student submits an application presenting his or her grades and attendance among other factors. The school conducted the lottery on March 11.
“We had 496 students apply this year,” said Alex Rojas, director of Educational Services. “We admitted 340.”
The school then sent the 340 students letters and waited for a confirmation reply. As of Friday, 322 students sent back a confirmation letter.
“It’s good because it’s a smaller school. It’s easier for teachers and to make friends,” said incoming freshman Biura Markarian. “I’m excited because it’s a magnet school and I’m with people who are more willing to learn.”