An Unusual Approach to the First Day of School

Returning back to school after summer break can be a challenging transition for students. However, these Hemet Unified Schools are creating new and exciting ways to welcome their students back!   

Hamilton High School invited its new students to a two-hour orientation to familiarize themselves with their new school campus. Students were given a tour by Hamilton High’s Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS) participants, introduced to the school’s staff members, informed of the school policies, and were given information on clubs and programs students can join to become involved in their school. Jake Ballentine, the keynote speaker, spoke to the students and families about challenges. He said everyone will face challenges, but perseverance is what helps people succeed. Students and families gathered in the multi-purpose room to attend a pizza party, where they could socialize and meet new people.

On the first day of school, West Valley High School new students attended an orientation. Based on collaboration between West Valley’s Link Crew, BARR, and ASB, every freshman who attended the first day of school was able to participate in motivational assemblies, campus tours, small group team building, and were introduced to staff members. The orientation was designed to teach new students what it means to be a West Valley Mustang and introduce them to the pride and culture around that. Students learned West Valley’s Alma Mater, Fight Song, and the “Mustang Beat,” and at the end of the day, each freshman knew that “It’s a Great Day to be a Mustang!” 

Dartmouth Middle School used the first day of school to get students excited about the new school year. Students and staff participated in scavenger hunts, learned and performed a dance routine from Happiness is Now, and listened to what it means to be successful. The goal of this celebration was for students to think coming to school is something positive, and to welcome students back in a fun way that will help set the tone for the year.  

Thanks to all Hemet Unified School District staff for welcoming over 21,000 students to a new school year!