Freshman Experience

A Summer Program for Incoming Freshmen

Summer 2021 Dates: 

  • Week 1 July 12-15 
  • Week 2 July 26-29

COVID-19 is an ever-evolving health situation. Freshman Experience will continue to monitor and follow local and state health guidelines and be sure to follow all guidelines, including face coverings, gathering sizes and social distancing. Specific details regarding Freshman Experience and COVID-19 will be emailed to families throughout the summer. At this time, we plan to host Freshman Experience as an in-person event.

What is Freshman Experience?

Freshman Experience is a week long summer program designed to acclimate incoming Freshmen to the SMR campus, learn the curriculum, and meet faculty and fellow classmates. It also gives students a chance to make new friends before the school year begins.

Goal of Freshman Experience

The goal of Freshman Experience is to prepare and boost the confidence of incoming Freshmen both academically and socially. All courses, including the Jump Start Series and Freshman Seminar are taught by SMR faculty and are highly successful in preparing incoming Freshmen for their first year of high school at St. Mary's Ryken.


If Freshman Experience is able to run on campus, students will receive their devices on the afternoon of the first day.

If Freshman Experience is to be held virtually, students who have purchased iPads from SMR will need to pick up their iPads prior to the start of Freshman Experience. Information regarding pick up times will be forthcoming.


Registration will open in March 2021.

The Jump Start Series

The Jump Start Series is a series of content specific courses, designed to prepare incoming Freshmen and provide them with a jump start for the fall. Each course in the series will introduce essential new skills and concepts required for student success. Students will select two classes from the series.

Jump Start classes include Math, Science, English, Theology, and Spanish.

The Freshman Seminar

The Freshman Seminar introduces high school success skills to students of all academic levels. Topics include:

  • Time management and homework tips
  • Note taking skills and testing strategies
  • Tips on successful use of the iPad for educational purposes, and how to use apps such as Google Drive and Notability
  • Discussion about how to manage stress and navigate the social pressures that come with high school
  • Communication skills for interaction with peers and teachers

Program Details:

  • The day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
  • Half-day options are available. Please contact Mrs. Crystal Dunkin (at or 301-475-7678) for details.
  • Lunch is included in the cost of the program.
  • Program Fee: $225, which includes two Jump Start sessions each day, Freshman Seminar, lunch and program materials.

Transportation Available:

  • Round-trip transportation fee: $125 
  • Transportation stops at Prince Frederick, Hughesville, La Plata, Clinton, Brandywine, Owings, and Charlotte Hall
  • Information regarding transportation times and specific locations will be emailed a week prior to Freshman Experience.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Crystal Dunkin at

Frequently Asked Questions