Middle school a big step from students in Clarendon Hills
Abby Stockmal (from left), Anna Glowniak and Gillian Filer ask the school secretaries a name of one of their grandchildren in a scavenger hunt during the first day at Clarendon Hills Middle School. | Rob Hart—Su
Updated: October 1, 2012 3:09PM
Clarendon Hills — New friends and new responsibilities were the catch phrases for sixth-graders on their first day in a new school.
Matthew Mazure, 11, of Hinsdale had only good things to say about his first day at Clarendon Hills Middle School.
“It was epic. It was awesome,” said Matthew, who attended Monroe School last year. “It was 10 times better (than elementary school). The time went faster.”
It should be noted the first day of school was more of a half-day, just three hours long.
Liam Walsh, 11, who attended Prospect School in Clarendon Hills last year, said going to a larger school means “there’s a lot of different people and a lot of different opportunities for new friends.”
Rheana Montesantos of Hinsdale noted the difference between middle school and Walker School in Clarendon Hills where she went last year.
“There’s no more homeroom and we have to switch classes every period,” Rheana said. “I’ve to rush up the stairs.”
Gray Charlien, 11, of Clarendon Hills is looking forward to “doing different things,” in middle school, but realizes “we’ll have more responsibility than last year because we have more classes.”
That message wasn’t lost on 11-year-old Melissa Marquez.
Clarendon Hills Middle School “has bigger grades and bigger responsibilities,” she said, than Prospect School, which she attended last year.
“It’s amazing by the end of the year how many more friends they’ll have made from different (elementary) schools,” said Megan Hoff, a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher. “They don’t always think that way when they first start (middle school).”
Hoff said the school theme is self-responsibility and teaching the kids independence. She noted the transition from fifth to sixth great is big, especially with children go from having one teacher in one classroom to having eight teachers in eight different classrooms.
“They are all very excited, but we want to help them see that being organized is a big thing and being willing to try new things,” Hoff said.
Reilly Hayes, 11, of Hinsdale noted in sixth grade the school day is broken up into periods.
“You have long advisory and short advisory,” Reilly said. “In short advisory, we listen to the morning announcements together. In long advisory . . . I don’t know what we do in long advisory.”
“We do activities and projects in long advisory,” chimed in her friend Isabel Grimes.
Short advisory lasts only five minutes, enough time for announcements and the pledge of allegiance, Hoff explained.
Long advisory is a two day-a-week period when the teachers cover “social and emotional learning. In sixth grade, it’s about getting organized and team building,” Hoff said.
Tatum Lovelace of Hinsdale, 12, said returning to Clarendon Hills Middle School as a seventh grader is more relaxing.
“When I was a sixth-grader, it was a lot of stress.”
Reilly Revord of Hinsdale, who also was returning to Clarendon Hills as a seventh-grader, rode her bicycle to school, something she likes to do as much as possible.
She plans to be reassuring to the new sixth-graders and tell them, “it’s okay,” because she remembers the seventh-graders last year “told us (helpful) stuff to get the year started.”