Teachers cheered, principals gave high-fives, and friendly eighth-graders gave fist-bumps to sixth-grade students in Canyons District who arrived at their schools early Tuesday, Aug. 18 for Canyons District’s seventh-annual orientation day for secondary-school first-timers.
Canyons District principals plan the day each year to help ease the jitters for the students who are attending middle school for the first time.Â
The back-to-school event, which is only for sixth-grade students, has been planned to make sure the 11- and 12-year-old students, who the year before didn’t have to worry about negotiating hallways with other teens or changing classes several times a day, become used to their new surroundings and walk away with a positive memory about their first day at middle school.
The students attended shortened classes, found their lockers, met their teachers, and grabbed a snack in the cafeteria.Â Some principals also held assemblies to introduce themselves, and explain the school rules.Â
Mike Sirois, Canyons District’s Executive Director of School Performance, says the aim of the sixth-grade orientation is to “cut down on the tears and frustration” of the official first day of school. Â “We try to give them as much of a real-life experience as we can in a half day,” says Sirois.Â
On Tuesday the day before the first official day of the 2015-2016 school year in CSD Canyons sixth-graders arrived at their respective middle schools by about 8 a.m. and went home at about noon.Â
The annual orientation day has earned positive reviews from students, parents and teachers. Â