On Tuesday, Aug. 31, the start of the 2021-2022 school year officially began with the annual freshman orientation, which was held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for all incoming Form 3 students, their advisors, and their senior prefects.
The goal of the event was to allow the freshmen to come together for the first time with all of their peers to meet their advisors and their senior prefects and to simply become more familiar with the KO campus in preparation for the first day of classes.
First, the freshmen met their advisors and senior prefects in their advisory space. Each advisee group played icebreaker games that allowed them to get to know one another and make them more connected as a group. Additionally, they discussed the daily schedule in order for each student to get a firmer grasp on what classes were scheduled for the first week of school. After the meeting, everyone headed to Roberts Theater, where all eleven freshman advisors were introduced and details on KO’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols were outlined.
Then, in randomized groups, each with a prefect, the freshmen participated in a scavenger hunt. “In the scavenger hunt, groups had to find answers to certain things that required they went to a certain space on campus,” Form 3 Dean Kata Baker said. “For instance I asked a question, ‘Who was the field hockey captain in 1988?’ and they had to go down to the captain boards in the athletic facility and find that out.”
After the scavenger hunt, students went on a campus tour led by their senior prefect. They learned about each building and discovered where their classes were located, which was especially important for the first day of school. Even for students like freshman Jenna Kanaan, who has been at KO since Form 1, this information was necessary to have a successful transition into the Upper School.
“I didn’t know all the Upper School, but I knew it to an extent,” she said, “but, I think [the tour] definitely helped. And, it was nice because I’m going to school in an environment that I was already familiar with. And I think it definitely helped newer students as well.”
Following the tour, freshmen met with technology coordinators to learn about Google Apps and other applications they would need for their classes. This closed off the activities for the day, and the freshmen then parted ways, saying their goodbyes to their advisors and their peers.
Freshman Stella Zimmer, new this year to KO, felt that this orientation allowed her to know her class better. “Meeting new people is always kind of hard for some people,” Stella said. “You’re meeting with a bunch of people you don’t know, so we can be a little nervous. But overall, I was happy because it was a great experience.”
Overall, freshman orientation was a successful and engaging introduction to the new school year. The freshman class was able to put names to faces, meeting both their fellow classmates and their advisors. The event ensured that all worries about the first day, like going to the right classes and meeting their advisors, were already resolved for them. Mrs. Baker hopes that future events can take place for the freshman class to strengthen connections within the grade. “I think more than anything, my goal is that by the end of the year, the freshmen feel like this school is their school.”