On Tuesday, August 30, hundreds of incoming J-DHS freshmen and new students packed the gymnasium for a tour of the building. Alongside them were a few dozen upperclassmen tour guides and their guidance counselors. Each tour group had roughly six-to-eight kids, who had the chance to ask questions about their classes and schedules to their guides. Despite the chaos of the Blue Hall construction, the incoming freshmen report that the tour was a helpful experience in acclimating to the high school. Not only did they gain knowledge about the layout of the building, but they also learned about their schedules and got to know their counselors.
According to freshman Spencer Scheu, “[The tour] showed us a lot of what we needed to see. [The high school] is definitely a big upgrade from the middle school, but with the guide, I think we know where the classes are. The lunch was a little hard to figure out at first, but we got it figured out.”
“[The tour] was very helpful because [my tour guide] asked what classes we had and took us to each room. The school is still pretty big but I feel like I’m prepared enough,” says freshman Joseph White.
Freshman Charles Skahen looks forward to the ability to take electives in high school. “[I’m excited] that I got to choose some of my classes, so I will enjoy what I’m doing. [I’m nervous about getting lost in the halls, because [the high school] seems so much bigger.”
According to sophomore and new student Peter Drew, “[I’m most excited for] chemistry. I’m nervous because I know nobody.”
Guidance counselor Diane Ennis remarked on the goal of the freshmen orientation event. “We’re hoping that [the tour] eases their anxiety, so that when they first come into the building, they’re familiar with the layout. Obviously it’s difficult because of the construction, but hopefully it will ease their anxiety a little bit by having knowledge about the layout of the building. Familiarizing themselves with the layout of the building [is important]. I think people become more confident when they know where different classrooms are. And if they can make any connections ahead of time – whether it’s with their counselors or students that were tour guides – they can put faces to names on the first day.”