On Monday, Aug. 28, new Kingswood Oxford students gathered on the Senior Green to start their Upper School orientation. From 1:00-5:45 p.m., students were busy getting acquainted with their new school.
Head of the Upper School Lisa Loeb talked about the purpose of the day. “What we focus on for this orientation is what new students need for the next couple of days,” she said. “We give them a personalized tour based on their class schedule, set them up with the technology they will need, and allow them to meet their advisors and classmates.”
The orientation began with students getting their ID cards and their class schedules. Afterward, they joined their advisee groups for a fun icebreaker session, designed to help students feel less nervous and allow them to get to know one another. Senior prefects then gave the new students insight into what the first day of school would look like and how to navigate it. They covered everything from what to wear and what to bring to how to find their class schedule on their phone. “I think this worked out really well as everyone got a chance to know their advisee groups better, which is important,” senior Head Prefect Nicolas Tippner said.
Next, everyone gathered in Roberts Theater for the first new student assembly. The prefects explained that Roberts Theater is where all the school assemblies are held and outlined the procedures to be followed during these events. These included instructions on seating by advisee groups in designated rows and leaving backpacks in the hallways. Once everyone was seated, the advisors and prefects took the spotlight to introduce themselves, helping new students become familiar with key faces and names.
It was time for fun as team-building games were up next. Students broke up into small groups to play a mix of games such as Heads Up, Get to Know You Bingo, and an Egg race. While winning the games was exciting, the primary goal was for students to interact with all the prefects and fellow students from different advisee groups in a fun way. “Getting the chance to meet and talk to everyone was nice, and it made me feel less nervous and more comfortable with everything,” new junior Reagan Heafey-De Angelis said.
After the games, students were given a campus tour, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the locations of their classrooms and gain a better understanding of how to navigate the campus. “I was worried about the first day of school and getting lost, so seeing where all my classes were was helpful,” Reagan said. In addition to the tour, students had help from the technology department to set up their Blackbaud account and Gmail account. Both are essential tools for communication and organization throughout the school year.
Finally, advisee groups met for one last check-in on the Senior Green. This was a time to ask any last-minute questions or receive help with anything. Students then headed home for some rest before the first day of school.
The goal of this orientation was for new students to meet their advisors, interact with their classmates, familiarize themselves with their class locations, and learn useful information. “The day was really nice, and it was helpful that I got to know a couple of people around campus,” Reagan said. The day proved to be a success in fostering a sense of belonging and preparedness for new students.