The first day of school for Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe High School is a week away, and to better equip incoming students for their high school experience, both schools will host freshmen orientation events.

Desert Vista will host its Thunder Day for freshmen and any students who are new to the school.

During the event, incoming students will attend a mini-assembly and be given a brief synopsis of the day.

Afterward, students will visit each of their classes to meet with their teachers and ask any questions they might have about the school year.

Students will also attend a technology class where they’ll learn how to log onto the school’s system.

“We really try to give them a good overview,” said Tomika Bethea, assistant principal of activities at Desert Vista.

In the afternoon, students are broken up into three groups to attend a presentations by the counselors and coaches at the school about graduation requirements, dress code, athletic opportunities and school policy.

The students’ day concludes with a prep rally.

Bethea said student council members help during Thunder Day by giving tours around the school to new students.

“It’s really about growing their community as a class of 2018,” she said. “We try to keep it light-hearted and fun.”

Parents who are new to Desert Vista can attend Thunder Day and will be given an introduction about the school from educational expectations to different school organizations.

“It’s kind of like High School 101 for parents,” Bethea said.

Desert Vista will host its Thunder Day from 8:20 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Desert Vista, 16440 S. 32nd St.

For additional information about Thunder Day, call (480) 706-7900.

Mountain Pointe will prepare its 2018 freshmen class by hosting its annual Freshmen Boot Camp.

The camp, which is broken up into two days, gives incoming students an opportunity to learn about the community of Mountain Pointe and what it has to offer.

“We wanted to create an event for our incoming freshmen so that they would not feel so overwhelmed on the first day of school,” said Mary Catherine Boatright, staff member. “We’re a big school, and we found that kids were coming in on the first day not knowing where their lockers were, they didn’t know where their classes were, they didn’t know anybody and it was frightening for them.”

During the boot camp, freshmen will meet with their teachers, be guided through the school by student mentors and take part in team-building activities.

The student mentors will keep in contact with the freshmen to make sure the school year is going smoothly for them and to ensure that they’re on the right track.

“They have a connection with those students after the boot camp,” Boatright said.

Students will also learn about extracurricular activates at Mountain Pointe.

Mountain Pointe’s Freshmen Boot Camp will occur from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 31, and 8 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Mountain Pointe, 4201 E. Knox Road.

For additional information about the boot camp, call (480) 759-8449.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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