Link and WEB Welcome New Students

Upperclassmen Welcome Incoming Students on Solo First Day
Posted on 09/08/2017
Link Leaders ready to welcome and cheer for 9th gradersThe first day of school can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating, especially when students start at a new school. This year, Simley High School and Inver Grove Heights Middle School started school for 6th and 9th graders one day early to help them ease in to their transition. Extracurricular groups of upperclassmen, Simley Link Leaders and IGHMS WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Leaders, also attended the 6th- and 9th-grade only days to help familiarize them with their new schools and connect with them to make their transition easier.

Simley formed Link Crew last year to help incoming freshmen transition smoothly into their new school. Each Link Leader was given a group of new students to connect with at 9th Grade Orientation before the first day of school. Throughout the rest of the year, Link Leaders acted as resources for their 9th grade groups.

“Freshmen are welcomed to our school by older students who have discovered what it takes to be successful in high school,” Simley English teacher and Link Crew co-organizer Bobby Mandell said. “It's like having an older sibling who can teach you all of the unwritten rules so you don’t have to make mistakes just to learn them.”

This year, Simley took another step toward helping new students transition and IGHMS implemented a similar change for incoming 6th graders: 9th and 6th graders started school one day before their classmates to familiarize themselves with the new buildings and environment. The only upperclassmen around were Link Leaders at Simley and the middle school’s WEB Leaders, who applauded students as they arrived, made them feel welcome, and helped them navigate their new environment throughout the day. Both WEB and Link leaders will also continue to act as resources for the 6th and 9th graders throughout the school year.