8th Grade Visits High School on “Fly Up Day”

By Fiona Haze, Sophia Ciolek, Natalia Sosna & Lucia Lupu

Transitions are part of life, and one major change that the eighth graders are going through is ‘soaring’ over from Middle School to High School. On the 24th of March, the future ninth graders got the opportunity to experience a simulation of a normal High School day.

The Fly Up Day assembly

They spent the whole day stumbling through the busy schedule, getting to know future teachers, different learning opportunities, and available classes.

One thing that was on everyone’s mind as the student assembly panel spoke about their experiences was the idea of having to complete the I.B. programme. The majority of the High Schoolers that took part thought of the IB diploma as stressful, and most recommended having a balanced sleeping cycle in order to avoid zombie-like behaviour during classes. At this, many students glanced up, intimidated by the idea of sleep affecting their day.

During fly-up day, the 8th graders started off their day in the theatre and were introduced to what they were going to spend their day doing. They then continued into the first, second and third elective classes, which lasted for ten minutes each with five minute breaks in between. Then they got to meet the 9th grade Math, English and Science teachers, which took them through the year’s standards and expectations, adding how the I.B. programme affected their subject.

At 13.35, starving and giddy students made their way down to the cafeteria, the only part which wasn’t new for them so far. Then, at 14.10, they once again sat down in the theatre and discussed the Diploma Options at ASW, the ninth grade trip, and final questions, and then the  course selection form was given out.

According to Ms. Raggio, a high school counsellor, the counselling department wanted the 8th graders to get an idea of what electives were offered, as well as differences in educational philosophy between the middle and high schools.

We want them to feel inspired, excited, and ready,” said Ms. Raggio, referring to 8th-grade students. “We also want them to know that it is OK to feel a bit nervous.”

And this has seemed to work, as many of the students thought that it was an effective way to start their journey to High School. “I liked the fly up day because we got to know or options better. After we had it I decided I’d take classes I wouldn’t if we didn’t have it,” concluded Marta D., an 8th-grade student.

“I really enjoyed fly up day,” said Haidan K., another 8th-grade student.  “I always wondered the differences of Middle School to High School, and fly up day taught me all about it!”

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