The freshmen at Mingus Union High School are getting their run of the campus come Friday, said Principal Jennifer Chilton.
"This year it's a whole day," she said. "In years past it's just been a half day."
Gear Up's cohort will be most of the class of 2018, so the first part of Friday will be spent on Link Crew activities.
A group of about 65 juniors and seniors are taking two days before freshmen day for training to be mentors for the freshmen. Chilton said they're learning to think like leaders, inspire others, and work in large and small groups.
Students will be in peer mentoring groups of 10, with structured activities throughout the year.
Students eat lunch at school, getting a chance to work out any lunch line problems, followed by a schedule run through and dismissal at 3:20 p.m.
"It's exciting that they'll be having lunch on campus, because they'll learn how to punch in their ID ahead of time," she said. "They should be pretty comfortable when all the other students arrive."
The school has had a freshmen-focused intervention program for about five years, Chilton said, but the Gear Up program is bringing more focus to that area.
"We're really excited about having the extra freshmen support," she said. "It's nice to have even more people bolstering what was already in place."
Enrollment is in line with where the school usually is at this time of year, with about 300 students in each class. Juniors are the largest group, with 326 students enrolled so far.
Chilton said families have been on campus all week registering students for classes, checking out textbooks, and setting up student accounts.
"The more kids get set up in advance, the better," she said.
Find out more about registering for the first day of classes Monday at mingusunion.com.