Moving into high school is a bit like getting an apartment for the first time, according to J.L. Crowe school counsellor Loretta Jones.
Instead of skulking shyly down a hallway or getting lost on their first day at high school, new students and Grade 8’s can now feel confident thanks to a transition program developed several years ago.
The program allows new pupils the opportunity to adopt a locker, make it their own and map out a pathway to their classes for the next five years of their lives without the added pressure from older students around them.
“We feel it’s one of the best things we could offer a prospective Grade 8 student and their parents to make them feel more comfortable and cause that stress level to go right down on the first day of school,” Jones said. “(Through this) kids are prepared; they feel much more comfortable if they’ve got a friend and know the building. We feel it’s a super resource for us.”
On Thursday between 9-11 a.m. students can move into their lockers early, tour the school and fill out their timetables with help from senior students in the leadership program.
In addition school officials will be offering workshops about coping with social issues.
“Some are for the Grade 8’s in particular,” she said. “We did a bullying workshop last year for them early on (and) we also do some academic workshops for them where they get some tips on test writing and exams, doing homework or being organized.”
The first day of school will be a half day from 8:30 a.m. until noon on Sept. 4 and regular classes will begin the following day. She predicts there will be roughly 760 students attending school this fall.
According to Greg Luterbach, the superintendent of schools for School District 20 (Kootenay Columbia), enrolment numbers are projected to be at roughly 3,900 this fall. While that means enrolment numbers have dropped by roughly 55 students this year, it is a considerable improvement over a drop of more than 100 students the year before.
However, the projected drop in enrollment numbers was anticipated last year and the annual school budget reflected that, being curtailed by $1.4 million, according to Luterbach.
Grade 8’s and new students can “Move into the Crowe” between 9 and 11 a.m. Thursday morning.