From Senior-Kindergarten buddies to advisory challenges, Academy provides opportunities for inter-grade connection and mentorship. Middle School Dean, Ms. Berkley, added two more grades to the mix: eighth and eleventh grade.
Ms. Berkley noticed middle schoolers’ anxieties around the transition to high school and wanted them to gain perspective from current students. She paired eighth grade and junior advisories together, hoping that when we become seniors next year, we will guide the future freshmen.
In our introductory session on Tuesday, January 9, the eighth-graders asked several questions about our high school experience, ranging from “What is your favorite thing about the Upper School?” to “What have been your favorite clubs?” We took turns chiming in, contributing our own experience with handling stress, balancing life, and choosing courses.
There has been positive feedback from advisors and students alike as juniors enjoyed stepping into a leadership position and eighth-graders looked toward us for advice. Looking ahead, the two grades will engage in a scavenger hunt activity in February and a shadow day in April.
Ms. Berkley says, “It was good for the middle schoolers to hear from upperclassmen peers—to hear that they need to be easy on themselves, take breaks, and find balance. The goal of these pairings is to connect eighth-graders with the leaders of the school next year and provide people that they can go to for guidance.”