By Yael Scheinman, 9th Grade
For most people, the thought of entering high school is pretty intimidating. It brings with it a longer school day, new teachers, more work, harder tests, and many new girls to meet. I was nervous before the ninth-grade orientation, but as soon as I walked into SKA, I began to feel at ease. We were greeted with big smiles from Mrs. Helen Spirn, head of school; Ms. Raizi Chechik, principal for grades 9–10; several faculty members; and some older SKA students—all of whom later formally welcomed us along with our grade-level advisors.
We were then split into three rotating groups, each of which would partake in a different program with the intention of making us feel more comfortable in SKA. One group had the privilege of having Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, director of religious guidance, address them about the importance of tzniyus and SKA’s student-generated Code of Conduct. A second group had a thrilling and informative scavenger hunt around the school, which helped us become more familiar with the building. The final group was shown to their lockers and had the chance to meet their new locker buddies; some girls even began to decorate their lockers in their own style.
After a delicious snack of ice cream, we heard from Mrs. Spirn and Ms. Chechik about what to expect on the first day of school, how to handle the workload, and how to cope with the transition from elementary to high school. They reassured us that if we became overwhelmed at any time in the year, they would be there to help us in any way possible, a comforting message to a group of anxious new students!
We davenedMinchah together as one grade and then ate a lovely dinner during which we heard a dvar Torah from our fellow classmate Aliza Rothman. Afterwards, we went bowling, a trip enjoyed by all. It allowed us to meet new friends and share the first of many fun experiences together. Upon our return to school, we were introduced to our G.O., who shared with us some of their funny stories of experiences from when they were new to SKA. This helped us realize that everyone is new at one point and doesn’t know where to go or what to do. It certainly lessened our worries about entering high school, and it was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful day.
As I sat in my room back home at the end of the day, I reflected on my fears from earlier that morning, realizing how absurd they seem now and feeling a comfort and excitement knowing that the following week I would walk through the doors of SKA and begin what will be, iy’H, an amazing four years!