Freshmen Orientation transitions Class of 2020 into Upper School

Clare Tipler, Online Production Manager

‘Welcome’ calls echo throughout the Randolph Campus on Aug. 26 as the Class of 2020 joins the Upper School for Freshmen Orientation. Upperclassmen mentors and St.Paul Academy and Summit School faculty introduce the new students to campus the Fri. before classes officially start so that the students can get to know each other, their new advisors, and the layout of the school.

“The goal of this retreat was to get people more used to the Upper School, understanding what their classes are, trying to find locations, getting to know who some of their teachers are, and to make them feel more welcome at SPA,” senior Kathryn Schmechel said.

“There’s a lot more participation from Upper School students consistently, so it’s cool to have that mentorship from day one,” Schmechel added.

We learned that the advisor is kind of the middle man between teachers and yourself.

— Freshman Audrey Egly

Many upperclassmen mentors attended the orientation, helping to facilitate conversation and lead group activities. “It’s really important to teach the ninth graders what its like in the community,” senior Ewan Lang said. Lang helped to lead outdoor games to break the ice with the new class of students.

The day was jam-packed with group activities, but one highlight for students was to meet their advisories, who they will spend the year with. “It was really nice to meet with our advisors,” freshman Lauren Dieperink said.

Though students had advisors in the middle school, many freshmen are new to the advisory system. “We learned that the advisor is kind of the middle man between teachers and yourself,” freshman Audrey Egly said. Students meet in their advisory location to start the school day and will get to know their peers during this time.

While the social aspect of high school creates nerves for many students, the new homework load also presents a challenge. “I’m most nervous about the [increase] in homework,” Dieperink said.

The new class played fun games outside, discussed community guidelines, and spent the whole day easing into life at the Upper School, all in preparation for the first day back to school on Aug. 29.