EATON — This year, under leadership of new Middle School Principal Brian Camp, Eaton Middle School changed its orientation schedule. School staff opened the school doors on Monday, Aug. 12 and Tuesday, Aug. 13, to allow sixth graders to pick up their schedules and learn how to open their lockers, all with the guidance of upperclassmen.
Various eighth graders came in on these two days to teach the younger students the ropes of middle school.
“We’re trying to help support families. When we think of families in that transition to middle school, we have to think about the fact that there are new things — lockers and new buildings. It becomes very chaotic. When you have Open House nights where it is packed full of people, kids aren’t able to focus with their lockers and families can’t have the conversations they have to have,” Camp said.
“This is expanded time, they come at their leisure, and they’re able to meet some of the kids here. They can learn how to walk through their schedule, from the beginning of the day to opening their locker. They get to practice now. If they want to practice on Open House night too, they can.”
According to Camp, student leaders were able to teach the younger students the expectations of the building. They will also have the opportunity on Open House night to meet with their teachers, but their first introduction to Eaton Middle School was with their peers.
“This is important, so you don’t see them wondering around trying to find their stuff and trying to read their schedule,” eighth grader Chris Adkins said.
“You think back to when you were in sixth grade, we know now the mistakes we made and stuff, we can help them figure it out,” eighth grader JT Gels said. “We didn’t have tour guides and I remember we struggled the first week.”
Eighth grader Alexia Morgan added, “A lot of them had no idea what they were doing with their lockers and they didn’t quite understand their classrooms, so it helped them out a lot.”
Camp added, they hope to continue with this orientation structure in the future.
“So far we’ve had great feedback from the families, from what I’ve heard on Facebook it has been very positive,” he said. “I’ve not had anybody complain. We’ve had 80 percent of the sixth graders come out for orientation already.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH