Freshman Experience

A Summer Program for Incoming Freshmen

Program dates: July 13 - 16 and July 27 - 30 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Students attend one of the two week options.

Week 1 is currently full.  Week 2 still has openings!

If you would like to be placed on a waiting list for Week 1, please contact Mrs. Crystal Dunkin

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.

UPDATE as of May 28, 2020


Freshman Experience will run as scheduled: July 13-16 and July 27-30. If we are able to do so safely, we will gather in person during that week. If we are unable to meet in person, Freshman Experience will move to a virtual platform. We anticipate a decision regarding Freshman Experience will be made in late June and will communicate any changes as soon as possible.


If Freshman Experience meets virtually, your student will receive the same great instruction as planned for our traditional sessions. Students will participate in two classes and a seminar session daily. Students will be encouraged to attend synchronously so as to build community with other members of the Class of 2024. Tuition will also be reduced to $100. Families who have already registered will receive a credit for the difference on their student account. 


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 is open and will remain open until June 30. If you haven't already registered your student, please click on the button below to register.

Registration is open for the Class of 2024.Click Here to Register for Freshman Experience
Only available for registered students

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