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Successfully bridging the gap between 8th and 9th grade is an important transition for both new and returning Maclay students.


By learning the in’s and out’s of high school together, students become better prepared for a high school career while growing closer together with their class community. 

Whether students are changing schools or just moving up a grade, the gap between middle and high school can seem unsettling.  Maclay’s Signature Program: The Freshman Academy helps provide a seamless transition to Upper School.  

The Freshman Academy begins with a Freshman only orientation a few days before school begins in August so the class can get familiar with the Upper School buildings, meet teachers, and even socialize with their classmates.  The Academy programming takes place during a FLEX period each week and covers a variety of topics like time management skills, college counseling, and the Maclay Honor Code.   Often Upperclassmen take part in meetings to offer guidance about what to expect from teachers, exams, and social events throughout their Upper School experience.


The Freshman Seminar is intertwined in the curriculum for all 9th graders, so they build a solid foundation of study skills and life skills to assist them with their successful journey through high school.