By India Altschul ’20
The second semester started on Jan. 23. Seventh, eighth and ninth grade students as well as the deans have shared their thoughts about the second half of the year and everything that comes with it.
Andrea Yagher ’20, a new student, explained her first semester experience.
“I felt I had a really great introduction to the school. I like all my teachers a lot. They really helped me integrate into the community,” Yagher said.
According to Yagher and other new ninth graders, the first semester was a good introduction to both a new school and a challenging new school year. Because of the first semester, Yagher said she now feels prepared for the second semester.
Middle school dean Karen Fukushima has also said she feels that the first semester is a good introduction to the more challenging second semester.
“When you start in ninth grade, you are really an eighth grader in terms of what you’ve learned. By the time it’s second semester of ninth grade, you’re almost a tenth grader, and your teachers are trying to prepare you for what that rigor is going to be like,” Fukushima said.
According to Fukushima, the start of second semester at the Middle School is most important for ninth graders because it is the time at which teachers begin preparing students for similar experiences at the Upper School. Fukushima said this typically starts at the beginning of the second semester.
Although they have had a semester to adjust to campus life, seventh graders are still very new to the middle school campus. Emma Valle ’22 said that she is still adjusting to campus life and the cumulative grading. To Valle and others, the seventh grade school year, especially the first semester, is a time of adjustment. With cumulative grades, said she believes that one can enter the second semester with much less stress.
“I like that grades are cumulative…I think grades that restart are stressful because it’s like you’re starting the whole school year over again. If you get a bad grade on your first few tests in second semester, then there’s not that much to average it out of, so it could hurt your overall second semester grade,” Valle said.
India Spencer ’21 said she believes that the second semester is off to a great start, particularly with positive schedule changes.
“I was affected in a good way by schedule changes because my dance class is starting, and I’m starting art. So there’s a lot of new, fun things I get to do in second semester,” Spencer said.