Students making transitions to new buildings this school year had the opportunity to take tours, talk to teachers and staff members, and learn about events and activities through orientation events set up this summer.

Students entering fourth grade at Colonial Elementary School visited on Aug. 29 and took part in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Students gathered in the gym with their teachers and then took tours and participated in activities designed to increase excitement for the start of school.

More than 400 students participated in Plymouth Whitemarsh High School’s orientation program on Sept. 1. Students arrived in the gym and were greeted by the administrative team. Following that, they were led on tours by the school’s Orientation Leaders. The OLs, as they are known, talked with students about the differences between high school and middle school, social events, bonus block, activities and clubs, and lunch. 

Alexandria N’Diaye, an 11th-grader, and Benson Davis, a 12th-grader, are OLs who were in charge of leading transfer students through the morning orientation. 

“It definitely made the students, I think, feel a lot better, more comfortable. We did get a lot of questions, which was awesome,” she said. “I think that they were less scared and they weren’t afraid to ask for help. So that’s what OLs are here for. We’re here to help the freshmen.”

Incoming ninth-graders Roman Conicelli and Chris Massing said they appreciated having fellow students leading them on the tours. 

“They kinda understand where you’re coming from,” said Roman, who noted that he was glad he was able to learn more about things like the bonus block and the building itself.

“It’s a big difference from middle school to the high school,” said Chris.

Both said they were feeling comfortable about the start of a new year in a new school.

“I’m probably feeling better now that I did the orientation,” said Roman.

Along with building tours, students attended an activities fair to learn about Plymouth Whitemarsh’s many extra-curricular opportunities, and then had lunch in the stadium. Students entering sixth grade also had the chance to tour their building and meeting fellow students and faculty over the summer at Colonial Middle School.