MISSOULA – Big Sky High School students returned to school Wednesday. Well, at least some of them did…
"Today we are doing the annual first day of school for the freshman where they just come in by themselves and kind of learn the ropes of how big sky works," Big Sky student body president Andrew Gardanier said.
The first day of class for freshman is more about getting comfortable with the layout of the school, so that they can come in ready to get to work on Thursday.
"So that they feel confident the next day when the entire class is there, and they know where their classes are, they know where to go. They know where the bathrooms are its been a big issue, that kind of thing," Big Sky Health Science Academy teacher Maree Mitchell said. "So the biggest thing is they can come in and feel good at school for their first day when they are actually learning."
According to some former freshman, it’s a strategy that works.
"I think that it helped me immensely. Just, you kind of get thrown in there, your kind of already freaking out about everything and just having your own day set apart to kind of figure it out yourself and have others help you without too much distraction really helps, I feel."
The Big Sky Connection Crew comprised of upper classmen help the 9th graders around campus.
Faculty think they have been doing a good job of mentoring the new students.
"They’ve been good. I actually think that they kind of enjoy it its good to be the ones that know everything and they make them feel pretty comfortable," Mitchell said.
The connection crew’s goal for today?
"Just not really freaking them out, I guess. High school can be a scary thing, but I guess it’s just really, mainly, our job to keep them calm about it and, just, I guess let them have an overall feeling that it’s going to be a good four years for them," Gardanier said.
One thing to keep the freshman from freaking out? Therapy dogs provided by Wind River Trails and Tails.