Make the high school transition smoother

Is the first day kind of crazy? How do I get a locker? How will I find my way around the school? Will I still have my friends from last year and how do I make new friends? Do you get lots of homework?

Is the first day kind of crazy? How do I get a locker? How will I find my way around the school? Will I still have my friends from last year and how do I make new friends? Do you get lots of homework?

These are the questions asked by many students starting high school for the first time in School District 71.

The transition between schools can be a stressful time for students and their families. Everyone remembers  that  feeling of walking down the hall of a new school on the first day, overwhelmed by the number of new students, teachers and classes. The layout seems confusing and the bells ring at odd times.

To make those  transitions easier, aboriginal education students at G.P. Vanier, Mark Isfeld and Highland secondary schools and the Nala’atsi program, have helped create a video blog.

Students answer questions and give survival tips for new students. Their words of wisdom include advice on how to make new friends, how to stay out of trouble and stay on your teachers’ good side —coffee from Starbucks or Tim Hortons seems to work wonders.

Bullies do exist but the students in all three schools high schools pointed out that there are teachers and counsellors you can turn to if bullying becomes an issue.

Included in the video blog are school tours with a hand-held camera and a tour guide pointing out where are the important places are to be found. Getting from one side of Vanier to the other in the few minutes allowed between classes can be a daunting task.

In the video tour, the shortcuts are revealed as well as the crucial information — ‘go with the flow, keep to the right, and stay out of the way of the Grade 12s.’

Sports teams, clubs, great food, and exciting classes are all there awaiting those who make the decision to great involved and have a great time.

And the unexpected can happen, as one student at Vanier said. She was surprised to find herself ‘smashing up a car’ in the auto mechanics class. But she was equally pleased to find that there was somewhere she could practice the piano in a room by herself.

Starting high school happens only once in a student’s life and this video blog can help make that transition for students in the Comox Valley just a little bit smoother.

The blog can be found at

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