Sparrows Point MS, HS welcome students
In an effort to make transitioning into a new school smooth and easy, Sparrows Point High School and Sparrows Point Middle School faculty and staff went into the community to welcome the incoming class.
Last year, administration from Sparrows Point High and alumni formed a welcome wagon and visited freshmen’s homes but only reached out to 40 students who were in close proximity to the school.
It was such a success that they decided to expand with a larger group, visiting the homes of 178 freshman that began their high school career this year.
For two days, the group knocked on doors for 14 hours to speak to the freshmen and their parents and hand out bags with school supplies in them.
The school bag included folders, pencils, pens, notebooks, highlighters and information about the school.
If students weren’t home they left the bag of supplies on the doorknob.
Sparrows Point High School principal Emily Caster initiated the idea and algebra teacher Lindsay Hammer coordinated everything.
“It was powerful to get into the community and see where our kids live,” Caster said.
According to Caster, some students were prepared and waiting for them to arrive, some were still sleeping when they got there, some were surprised and some weren’t home, so they left the school bag.
“Some students were stunned, but I think overall it was a positive,” Hammer said.
“They were excited that we came to their homes to welcome them to school,” she added.
According to Hammer, Sparrows Point High administrators want the new students to feel a sense of belonging and to know that there are people that can help them.
“We want them to know that although it’s a new school, you have someone to talk to,” Hammer said.
“It was good for staff to see and understand where their students live and the communities they come from,” Caster said.
Teachers and staff came in on their last week of summer to prepare for the new school year and make school bags for students.
“Anything that helps kids transition is what we want,” Caster said.
While Sparrows Point High School staff members were walking door-to-door to welcome their incoming students, Sparrows Point Middle School staff reached out to their incoming sixth graders through events at the school and feeder elementary schools.
More than 100 students and their families gathered together at Battle Grove Elementary, where students and parents got to meet their teachers, ask questions and get to know each other.
“I know what it’s like for a fifth grader to leave elementary school and start middle school,” principal Jennifer Gounaris said.
“We want to give out as much assistance as possible,” she noted.
According to Gounaris, staff members help kids practice using combination locks.
The start of the school year for a sixth grader is seamless, according to Gounaris, which is why they build relationships with students before they step into the building.
Students gathered at Chesapeake Terrace and Egdemere Elementary for similar events during the same week.
Those who couldn’t attend any of the events before school got to attend a small event in the cafeteria.
According to Sparrows Point High and Sparrows Point Middle School officials, the faculty will continue to do what it takes to build solid foundations for their students.
Sparrows Point High School, staff, alumni and community members assemble school bags before going door-to-door