A popular back-to-school tradition for students entering secondary school for the first time returns on Tuesday, September 5. Link Crew Day marks its 11th year in Bluewater District School Board, as all nine secondary schools offer up a host of orientation and welcoming activities for incoming Grade 9 students.
The peer-to-peer relationships that develop between the new Grade 9 students and participating senior secondary students are the essence of Link Crew Day. The senior students, who have received prior ‘Link Leader’ training, act as mentors to their younger peers by providing guidance through their own previous firsthand experiences to help ensure smooth transitions to secondary school.
“We know that entering secondary school for the first time is a significant adjustment for many students, especially if it is their first time in an unfamiliar building with new classmates and staff. Link Crew Day is specifically designed to help break the ice and alleviate some of that stress by providing new Grade 9 students with an entire day of fun team-building activities,” said Blair Hilts, Learning Services Administrator – Student Success.
Here is what a few of this year’s senior student Link Leaders said about the Link Crew program:
“Link Crew really helps Grade 9 students feel more comfortable about entering high school.” – Rahmi
“It’s a positive program that can open new doors for newcomers to the school through the information that is shared with them.” – Sarita
“Grade 9s need help as they are still finding themselves. Adding in a larger school is hard. Link Crew helps out with the nerves and comfort levels.” – Cass
“Going into Grade 9 can be a nerve-wracking experience. I think Link Crew gives [students] the confidence they need to start the four year adventure that awaits them.” – Tara
“I believe that it is important for Grade 9s to be introduced to the environment they will be in for the next four years in an accepting and enjoyable way so they can be more comfortable going forward.” – Marilena
“When I was in Grade 8, I was extremely nervous to go into high school. Link Crew made me much more comfortable at my new school.” – Maria
The hashtag, #BWDSBLinkCrew, has also been created for schools to share their Link Crew details and photos on social media.
With Grade 9 students attending Link Crew Day on September 5, the first official day of school for Bluewater District School Board students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12 will take place on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.