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Making the Transition to 9th Grade A Little Bit Easier in Austin

August 31, 2017 05:21 PM

(ABC 6 News) - New classes, new teachers, new building… no wonder there are butterflies.

"Sometimes they're a little naive, they don't know what's about to get them” Geoff McLachlan laughed. ”They don't know... kind of like a little deer in the headlights.”

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But Thursday, the transition to high school got a little bit easier for Austin High School’s incoming 9th graders.

“We are doing a Link Crew orientation for the incoming freshmen here at Austin High," the Boomerang Project’s Geoff McLachlan said. “We train junior and senior Link Crew leaders to work with the incoming freshmen today and then throughout the year they will do activities and check in and make sure they are doing well in school and socially and we just want to make sure the freshmen feel welcome."

“And it's somebody they can see in the hallway and talk to and count on during the year, and kids just talk differently to each other than they do with teachers,” said teacher Joee Winter, who coordinates Link Crew for the Austin school district.

They do that through a series of small- and large-group activities, games, activities, and tours.

"The Biggest thing I want them to know is they're a part of a family here," Geoff McLachlan told us.

“And it's a really powerful experience to have a peer leading them through this new experience together" teacher Joee Winter added.

“Not necessarily to be a mentor,” Geoff McLachlan said, “but to be a leader and a friend, somebody that says I'm going to go through this with you because I'm here every day just like you. I know exactly what you're going through. Let's do this together."

For the incoming freshmen at AHS and most students in Minnesota, the new school year begins on Tuesday


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