Starting a new school can be stressful, but sixth graders entering Benjamin Stoddert Middle School on Aug. 29 will not do so blindly thanks to attending a New Scholar Boot Camp for sixth graders.

Two sessions were held each day on Aug. 16 and 17 for sixth graders and their families to get acclimated to the school, meet staff members and see what the new year will hold for them.

Students were briefed on what it meant to be a member of the Stallion Nation, as well as the academic and behavior standards school staff expected of them. Students received their class schedules, searched out their classrooms, and took their locker combinations for a spin.

The students brimming with a mix of nervousness and excitement. Nathalie Viveros-Baez said “a lot of things” make her nervous for the first day. Her peers agreed they had some anxiety, but there were also things they are looking forward to this school year.

“I’m excited about science and world history,” Keon Binnyuy said, while Mikayla Jones was interested in joining clubs and sports. Parents appreciated how the boot camp helped their children have a softer landing as they entered middle school.

“She’ll have multiple classes in a new environment,” Jamill Jones said of his daughter, Juliana, the first year of middle school. “It’s like starting over. I think the boot camp makes it easier for students to transition to middle school. It’s a great idea.”


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