One of goals of program to ease anxiety of students moving to high school

'We want to make them (the new Grade 9 class) feel comfortable, be able to be who they are.' - Wendy Walker

One of the aspects of the Get Real session which Grade 8 students at École Fox Run School participated in Monday was small group discussions. At this point in the program they were asked to write “the ten different things you like about Fox Run” and “10 different things you think staff of Fox Run could add to the school to make it even more amazing”.

Easing the transition of Grade 8 students from École Fox Run School to École H. J. Cody High School was one of the objects of the Get Real program which students participated in Monday.

Wendy Walker, executive director of the Get Real program, was at Fox Run Monday to observe the interaction with students and the preparation for their move to the high school atmosphere.

High school students visited Fox Run last October and became mentors for the younger students to help them make the move to a bigger school more easily.

“Now they have a buddy at the high school who is going to meet them and give them a tour, talk about what it’s like to be in high school,” she said.

“We want to make them (the new Grade 9 class) feel comfortable, be able to be who they are.”

“Get Real is about letting them to say it’s great to be you for exactly who you are,” said Walker.

She added, “This (Fox Run) is one of the neatest schools. The principal (Don Rattray) and vice principal (Darren Pickering) walk the walk. It’s all about making it a community.”

The mandate of Get Real states: “In support of youth and communities, Get Real strives to increase the awareness in our communities of the isolation, violence and alienation that our youth face today, while providing exceptional programs that stop this intolerable trend through social responsibility.”

The Get Real session which students participated in last fall was revisited at the end of the school year to help the Grade 8 students feel connected to high school before they begin there, said Walker.

During the morning the Grade 8 students participated in large group interaction as well as smaller group discussions. Then they ventured to Cody where they had lunch, toured the school and registered. They also heard from Principal Dave Elwood who had previously been principal at Fox Run as well as other administration staff.

Janine Neyedley, the Family School Wellness worker at Fox Run, said, “this is a good way to end the school year.”

Rattray also echoed the comments of Walker. “It’s a good opportunity to give them a successful transition to high school and their first positive experience there.”

This is the fourth year the Get Real program has been run at Fox Run, thanks in part to many community sponsors.

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