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LEMOORE — Lemoore Middle College High School started school Wednesday.

Students spent the morning getting oriented with their new classes for the year and finalizing registration for their college courses.

Three seniors gathered at a table during the first period of the day and caught up with each other on what they did over the summer and what they had planned for the school year.

Sydra Montes, Arianna Martinez Vera and Evelyn Barajas expressed how excited and nervous they were for their senior year as Evelyn signed up for a few more courses at West Hills College Lemoore.

“I’m happy because this is our last year, but I’m not ready for the future yet,” Sydra said.

Arianna said she is trying to keep a positive outlook and focus on enjoying her last year before starting college.

Evelyn was signing herself up for a child development class so she can make sure that child development is a major she wants to pursue after high school. She and her friends realize they have been working to prepare themselves for college and are excited for the classes that will keep them aligned with their goals like AVID and advanced placement (AP) courses.

These three seniors explained the differences they notice and experience as high school students on a college campus.

“In college, it’s up to you to keep track of your school work,” Evelyn said. “Here in high school the teachers actually care about how you do.”

“Well, the college professors care but it’s not a priority,” Adrianna said.

The girls are able to have this free time to talk on the first day because their classes at West Hills College Lemoore do not start until later this week.

Principal Chuck Gent said the school tries to align its schedule as closely to the college as it can. West Hills College Lemoore begins classes Friday.

As the girls continued to chat, students and teachers were getting down to business in terms of school work, including the school’s prize-winning Academic Decathlon team.

After students exchanged hugs, high fives and other greetings they headed to the next class.

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Evelyn and Arianna parted with Sydra to head to Bryan Rice’s classroom where they are his teacher’s assistants.

Rice took the roll before giving his welcome message to his AP world history class.

The 21 sophomores engage with Rice as he explains some of the expectations he has for his students in his class.

Rice said that for this year he is excited for all of the projects the students will be able to do. In his class, he said he has time to do a lecture and then lead students through different projects and student-performed presentations in every class.

He also said the school will continue its project-based learning program. Last year, the school had the students start a business for their project.

This year, Rice said the school will make some changes to the program to continue efforts of cross-discipline learning and improve the culture that is already on campus.

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