An uneasy feeling was matched with excitement for this year’s batch of Grade 8 students who settled into their new school Thursday during orientation day.
J. L. Crowe Secondary School invited its Grade 8s to walk through their timetables, set up their lockers and get familiar with their new school that starts up next week.
“When I first came here I was like all scared, but now that I’m actually here it’s actually not as confusing or as scary as I thought,” said Nick Desjardins, 12. “I was scared of not getting to my classes, not knowing where to go and not being able to find my locker and homeroom.”
His nerves were settled as he and his Fruitvale Elementary friends got acquainted with their new stomping grounds.
“I was really scared coming here, too, because it’s so big and so new but once I got here, it seemed easier than it looked,” agreed Jonny Melville, 12.
Though height wise the newcomers are a dead giveaway, the friends intend to stick with their five-foot-nine friend Riley Russell, 13, in the coming weeks.
“I think it will be a little bit more pressuring than today, but I don’t think it will be that hard because we’ve already got everything down and have our map and schedule,” said Desjardins.
Crowe counseller Loretta Jones connected with the new high school students as early as February – answering any questions they may have and helping them select classes that suit their interests.
“We have an initiative to make out Grade 8s more comfortable when they came here, we want the transition to be really smooth for them,” said vice principal Dara Waterstreet.
“It’s a big change. You’re going from being that top of the heap in you elementary school – they’re the big guys on campus – and now they’re coming to high school.”
Leaving their post at the top to settle into high school will be a challenge, agreed Fruitvale’s Kasey O’Hara.
“I was kind of liking it, being the oldest, because you had the seniority and now you have to build that back up,” he said.
The students look forward making new friends to delving into a new onslaught of subjects, particularly the hands-on electives like metal and home economics, once the first bell rings next Tuesday.