Welcoming More To The Pack


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It’s a new year, with new students, and new experiences. As 6th graders walk through the door on the first day of school a familiar mix of anxiety and excitement take over their bodies. As the day goes on their nerves calm but the excitement is still there for the next day.
It may be hard to adjust to all the changes, like lockers, eight classes, and switching between them, but most students seem to prefer middle school to elementary school.

6th grader Eden Dombeck and Tori Nuth walking to their last block class. They are still getting used to longer days, but seem to enjoy the change.

“Middle school is better. It’s larger, better teachers, more organized,” says sixth-grader Theo Andronescu.

Elementary schools in Loudoun County don’t have lockers. Most sixth graders had never even opened one prior to orientation day. “In elementary school, you just go in and take your stuff out of a bin or a cubby or whatever like that, but now you actually have lockers, like a larger space. You’re actually able to put your backpack in there and all your stuff.” says sixth grader Theo Andronescu. Lockers might be different from what new students are used to, but the majority seems to prefer them to elementary school alternative.

“I prefer moving around it’s nicer,“ says 6th grader Derrick Reichow.
When it comes to multiple vs a singular class, students generally seem to agree the middle school system is the clear winner. When asked about what he preferred, sixth grader Brandon Shuey responded “Definitely room to room. I’m kind of a troublemaker, so I don’t have to deal with just one teacher.” In grades one to five, unless parents sign off on a room change, kids are stuck with a teacher seven hours a day, every weekday, no matter their feelings on them or their

Ryan Lingerfelt
Sixth grader Jacob Dredern cheerfully opening his locker. Most 6th graders really enjoy having lockers as they say it keeps them much more organized.

relationship.

“The hardest thing to adjust to is having a locker, and remembering all the different classes.” said sixth grader Aaron Howard.

Not everyone is happy with the differences between elementary and middle school though. While most enjoy things like lockers and moving from class to class, others are finding it difficult to get used to. Some miss having classes with their friends a lot. Sixth grader Brandon Shuey says “My least favorite thing is definitely my classes, not a lot of my friends are in my classes.”

Instructional Specialist Mitchell Pavelko says ¨The students are transitioning very well, but I still think that there times where they don’t know where they are going.
Most of the teachers say that the new students are getting used to the school, but the students say different. 6th grader Theo Andronescu says “I feel like middle school is better, but the change between elementary and middle school is very Jurassic.” Things like lockers, new teachers, new classes and compass can become very confusing to new 6th graders.

Middle School can be a very different, fun, and scary experience, but it seems like most of the students are adapting very well. Trailside is doing their best to help by welcoming students and making them feel at home. There’s still much of the year to come so there’s no telling what could happen but most sixth graders seem confident they’ll be alright.

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