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MailTribune.com
  • EDUCATION

    Eagle Point helps students with first-day jitters

  • They may have started the day a little lost and confused, but by Tuesday afternoon, sixth-graders at White Mountain Middle School could navigate the halls and open their lockers without assistance.
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  • They may have started the day a little lost and confused, but by Tuesday afternoon, sixth-graders at White Mountain Middle School could navigate the halls and open their lockers without assistance.
    In the Eagle Point School District, Tuesday marked the first day of school for sixth-graders and freshmen. Everyone else, except for kindergarteners, starts today.
    “Today, (the sixth-graders) get all the attention of all the teachers and other staff,” said Karina Rizo, principal of White Mountain and former principal of Mountain View Elementary School. “Tomorrow when they come, they’ll know everybody and know how to get around the school.”
    About 140 sixth-graders showed up for White Mountain’s “soft opening,” during which the students met their teachers, toured the campus, practiced opening their lockers and participated in an assembly and relay at the end of the day.
    “I was very nervous, but then I was like, ‘All my friends are here,’ ” said Jessica Steffy, shortly after winning a jump-roping event in the gymnasium.
    Like several others, Jessica said she was most nervous about meeting the seventh- and eighth-graders.
    “I don’t know how they’ll be,” said Karina Cervantes, as she helped one of her classmates, Steve Enko, open his locker.
    “They are so big,” she said.
    “And loud,” chimed in Tori Hall, who was standing nearby.
    Although she was sad summer had ended and that she wouldn’t be able to sleep in any more, Tori said she was excited about school, especially science.
    “We get to dissect stuff,” she said. “My sister says we’ll get to dissect a frog this year and a cow’s eye next year.”
    Tuesday was the first day of school for kids in the first- through seventh grades, as well as freshmen, in Medford and Central Point.
    Kindergarten starts Thursday in Eagle Point and Monday in Medford and Central Point.
    For freshmen at Crater High School’s School of Business, Innovation and Science, Tuesday included team-building exercises, a campuswide scavenger hunt, a “Class of 2018” photo on the football field, a question-and-answer session with upperclassmen and a barbecue.
    Crater BIS Principal Tiffany Slaughter also had the freshmen write letters to themselves that they’ll get to open when they are seniors.
    “It’s kind of a goal-setting activity,” Slaughter said. “We ask them to write about what they would like to achieve by their senior year and what they expect high school to be like.”
    Staff at Hedrick and McLoughlin middle schools spent Tuesday helping about 850 seventh-graders get acquainted with their teachers, respective campuses and the schools’ procedures.
    “It’s a completely different rhythm of school than what they’ve been doing the last seven years,” said McLoughlin Principal Linda White.
    “Everything is designed to help them relieve the stress,” White added.
    By the end of the day Tuesday, Steve at White Mountain seemed comfortable in his new school.
    “(Middle school) is kinda fun,” he said on his way to assembly.
    “Yeah,” said Tori. “And it's kinda weird.”
    Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4497 or tthomas@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/teresathomas_mt.
     
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