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Getting Oriented in Person

Moving from one school to the next can be intimidating, but many of the second-grade students at Primrose Elementary School are feeling more secure after in person orientation visits to Somers Intermediate School, where they will begin third grade in the September.

“It is not so scary, now that I have been here and walked around,” says Anchit Shankar.

Last year’s third grade orientation was done entirely online after the buildings were closed to do COVID-19.

“It was a shame we couldn’t do this last year,” says Liz Turner, the intermediate school principal. “There is value in getting familiar with the school building, with our routines, and understanding that there are so many similarities to Primrose. It helps to alleviate a lot of the nerves.”

Turner says most of the questions by students are focused on the routines and whether they will change classrooms for academic subjects, which they do not. Other questions are often about lunch, recess, and specials.

During the tour, eight-year-old Lila Maneyapanda asks Turner which genres of books they will explore in reading.

“I was hoping to hear that we would be learning about fiction,” says Lila. “Because anything can happen in fiction.”

“Are the school days longer?” asks James Harrison.

Turner explains that the number of hours is the same, but the schedule is slightly later, and James sighs in relief.

Turner also tells the students that the school has nature trails that lead to an outdoor classroom, as well as snow sleds for physical education class. When the tour moves outside to the playground, there are many questions about where the kids can play, and with whom. To hear the answers, follow this link to watch this video and join Meredith Stirpe and Lauren Bello’s class on their intermediate school tour.