Monday was quite a day!  It started at 5 a.m. as administrators began a series of conference calls to monitor the weather.  By 5:20 a.m., it was apparent that freezing rain was likely on its way, and for the safety of our families, we should delay the start of the school day (which we did).

But the show must go on, and despite the delayed start, Monday’s schedule still included some important events of note.  To begin, it was the first day of school for four new Middle School students:  Gwen and Lisa in 5th grade, Isaac in 6th grade, and Molly in 7th grade.  It is a blast of fresh energy to be able to add new students during the academic year, and we are fortunate and excited to have four great additions to the Academy family.

We also welcomed a special group of visitors (in 4th through 8th grade) to spend time in school with our students on Monday.  Twenty-three Chinese students visited our 4th grade classrooms and our Middle School for morning classes, CPR activities, and lunch.  These visitors are in the Harrisburg area as part of a cultural exchange set up through a local organization.  They have spent ten days staying with host families and experiencing American culture.  Here at the Academy, we paired up each visiting student with a host student to help show them around the school and to learn how we do things at the Academy.

I am continually pleased with how quickly students acclimate into new surroundings.  This doesn’t happen by accident.  The Middle School faculty is wonderful at helping new students feel at home.  Our students, as well, all remember what it was like to be the “new kid” at one time or another, and they roll out the welcome mat to newcomers.  Between the late arrival, new students, and gaggle of visitors, it could have been a really rough day.  Rather, everyone embraced the day, and it ended up being a great experience for all of our students — old, new, and visiting!  I feel fortunate to be surrounded by all the people that make the Academy so special.