As we enter our third week of the 2018 academic year, we reflect on one of the hottest back-to-schools in recent history.
For some, the school year begins the week before classes start. Our football players and cheerleaders headed to school a full week early in preparation for the upcoming sports season, honing their skills ahead of the impending season.
Every year, the cheer leaders use their early start to participate in Cheer Camp, a four-day collaboration between our cheerleading team and returning cheer consultant Michael Perez, owner of Forever Xclusive. Michael, who joined us for his fifth year, along with Amie Tukuwafu and Wesley Rapier, helped kicked off the 2018 season with the intensive and highly successful camp, working with 31 varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders.
With the help of their coaches, Brielle Procko (varsity) and Julie Westmoreland (junior varsity), as well as the guidance of the consulting experts, our cheerleading team worked hard to create a positive foundation for the Mustang cheer year.
Joining the cheerleaders and football players, our bus monitors also started school a week early. They attended training, overseen by Greg Krauth, the Director of Transportation, to learn about first aid, emergency procedures and how to ensure a happy and safe ride to and from school. Our bus monitors, new and old, with training fresh in-mind, were the first to meet many of our over 1600 students at their respective stops on August 28—the first day of school. Parents saw their children off not only at the bus stops, but at home the station and school-front, with heart-felt “sayonaras” and first-day photos.
Students arrived to campus on a slightly overcast, but bound to be burning-hot summer day. They anxiously made their way to meet new teachers and settle into new classrooms.
As the students made their way through the school, they soon discovered some changes around campus, as well as some fresh faces. The strolled through the main hall, passing a new school common area with the couch-and-coffee table vibes. High schoolers walked in and opened their new lockers in the remodeled book-locker room and football players, familiar from the week before, let their friends know about the new, organic, turf field.
Also new to campus, students and teachers now use re-considered restrooms—with designations for “student,” “adult,” “all gender” and, for single-stall facilities, “all-use” restrooms. Monica Clear, Safeguarding Coordinator, led the initiative to relabel campus restrooms to bring us inline with best practice as we work towards level two certification from Keeping Children Safe.
All students attended orientation assemblies during the first week of school. Administrators introduced themselves and the teachers, discussed schedules and outlined aspirations for the school year. Everyone welcomed Jon Herzenberg, who is new to the administration this year as the High School Principal. Students also cycled through the week’s courses, getting to know their teachers for the term and the locations of their classrooms.
New elementary and middle school parents visited campus, as well. They familiarized themselves with the facilities, attended orientations with faculty and learned of the various student/parent organizations.
Rounding out the first two weeks of school, our Mustangs had the exciting opportunity to play their first football game on Friday, September 7, during the first Friday Nights Lights in two years. We will detail their first game, played against Kubasaki High School, in an upcoming post.