A new school year at the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School is filled with many firsts’, By Nancy Kriz CENTRAL VALLEY - Armed with new backpacks, stylish lunch boxes and massive amounts of supplies, Monroe-Woodbury School District students were out the door and on the road to their first day of school yesterday, ready for a new year of learning and another rite of passage in their lives. Among them was 11-year-old Brianna DeLeo of Monroe, a new sixth-grader at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School, who was thrilled to be moving up to a new school giving her more independence and responsibility. “This is a big deal because you’ve been in one school for such a long time that it’s like your second home,” said Brianna, who attended Pine Tree Elementary last year. “And now, I have a new school and new challenges and a new second home.” The excitement of what sixth-grade would bring outweighed any nervousness Brianna said she felt when she boarded her bus which now arrives almost 75 minutes earlier in the morning than last year. “I hear such good things about the middle school and the teachers,” said Brianna. “I know it will be different. In my old school, we (the fifth-graders) were the leaders. Moving to a new school, you’re the youngest. Now we will be looking up to the seventh and eighth-graders as leaders. I’ll learn from them how to be comfortable in the school so there will be nothing to worry about.” No more cubbies’ While Brianna and other sixth-graders visited the middle school last spring and had an additional orientation last week, she’s still learning the ropes about the new building. “There’s no more cubbies’ for your stuff,” said Brianna. “I’m so excited about a locker. I’ve been practicing with my lock all the time. It’s exciting to have something (locker space) of your own.” Class schedules are also new to sixth-graders. “I’m kind of nervous,” she admitted. “Schedules are like maps, like where to next.’ I’m looking forward to my classes, but a little scared to see how much work there will be and how much homework there is. I’m looking forward to learning new things but not having piles and piles of homework. I love to write and I hope we can write a lot, and I want to do new math and social studies.” For many students, this will be their first time using a locker room with others and quickly changing out of their regular attire and into clothing appropriate for exercise or sports. “We’ll need to bring old clothes to change into,” said Brianna, adding with a bit of apprehension, “as long as there’s a door (to close) that I can use to change, then I’ll be fine.” Moving up to middle school also means there’s after-school sports and club options, too. “I want to go out for track,” said Brianna. “I like running. I’m also looking forward to the Rec’ days, listening to a DJ and hanging out with my friends.” Rise and shine And there’s now a new daily morning routine at home. “I have to get up at an earlier time, 6:45 a.m.,” she said. “I think I may do alright. I do like to sleep. For some people, this may be easy, but I don’t know if it will be for me. If I try my hardest, I think I can pull it off.” That will also require Brianna to shower and get her clothes ready the night before to cut down on time in the morning. “My hair takes pretty long to do,” she admitted, though there’s a back-up plan in place. “If it’s knotty, then we have a problem. So I’ll just put it up in a bun or pony tail.” Despite the nerves, Brianna and her classmates survived their first day. And she had some advice for others as they settle into the new academic year. “Don’t be nervous,” she said. “Make the best of everything. Pay attention. What’s new is good. And it’s always good to try new things.”
Schedules are like maps, like where to next.’ I’m looking forward to my classes, but a little scared to see how much work there will be and how much homework there is. I’m looking forward to learning new things but not having piles and piles of homework.” Brianna DeLeo of Monroe, a new sixth-grader at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School
Don’t be nervous. Make the best of everything. Pay attention. What’s new is good. And it’s always good to try new things.” Brianna DeLeo’s advice to other new sixth-graders at the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School
Firsts Among the many “firsts” that sixth-graders at the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School will experience are: They need to wake up and get out of their homes much earlier compared to last year. All students now have a hallway locker for their personal belongings and books. There’s also individualized class schedules with students switching classrooms for different subjects. There’s less structure in walking the hallways too. Students no longer are placed in two parallel lines of boys and girls. Students now grouped in red, blue, yellow or green “houses” and have “advisory” teachers. >br> And, sixth-graders have the new experience of changing their clothes in the locker room for gym.