PARKERSBURG - Wood County's public high schools will give new students a chance to check out their classes and lockers the week before the start of the school year.
Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School both have freshman orientation nights planned for incoming ninth-graders, while Williamstown High School, which serves grades 7-12, will hold a seventh-grade orientation.
Parkersburg South's program will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 17. Freshmen schedules can be picked up in the school's attendance office from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 17 and after 5 p.m. will be available in the school cafeteria prior to the start of the orientation program.
Parkersburg High School will hold its freshman orientation at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 in the school auditorium. Students will be given their class schedules and locker combinations and given a chance to locate the rooms where their classes will be held.
A similar program will be held Aug. 19 for seventh-graders at Williamstown High School. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the school's new gymnasium. Students will receive class assignments and locker combinations.
Tom Eschbacher, principal of Parkersburg South High School, said such events are a great way to get students off to a positive start at a new school.
"It is important for us to do something prior to the start of school so the students feel more comfortable in their surroundings," he said. "Nothing is more scary than going to a new school."
Eschbacher said most student fears center around finding their classrooms, interacting with teachers and even opening their lockers.
"This gives them a bit better idea of where their rooms are, how to open their lockers," he said. "It's also important for the kids to meet the people they are going to spend the next 10 months with."
The first day of school for Wood County Schools students is Aug. 23.