The new school year brings many opportunities to welcome new students and their families to campus. While we have “official” orientation events for new students and parents, and Back-to-School Nights for all Academy parents, we know that the process of joining the Academy community doesn’t happen overnight. While we use a few different avenues – including our Parent Ambassadors and Welcome Families – to offer assistance to these new Academy community members, it’s important to remember these three simple areas when preparing new students and parents for the school year.
What does our schedule look like? How do I get access to NetClassroom? Who is in charge of attendance? Where is the nearest bathroom? Questions large and small need to be asked and answered in order for each and every student to feel prepared on the first day of school – and beyond.
Each new student, from our Threes program (called “HATS”) through 12th grade goes through the same process of transition when coming to a new school. Through events such as the All-School Picnic, Orientations, New Parent Dessert Night, and Back-to-School Nights, we set the focus on the community of the school.
By establishing and stating that “we are all in this together,” we are practicing what we preach, setting up the model for our newest community members. This model then carries over to our classrooms, where faculty and staff of all types join students of all ages, grades, and skill levels to form many different, and one school-encompassing, learning community.
Above all, we want to lay the groundwork for success for our new students for the current school year and beyond. By demonstrating care in the process, not only will our messages be better received, but that care will have a positive effect on the entire school community at Harrisburg Academy. When new students feel cared for, it shows in their relationships with their peers and their teachers – allowing everyone to feel more strongly that the school is delivering on its promise and fulfilling its mission.
Do you have new ideas for welcoming students, families, and parents to our school community? Be in touch!