Those First Few Days: Opening of School Overview

first-days-20160906_047Milton’s programming for new students and parents begins on Tuesday, September 5. Opening of school activities are designed to help families start to form an understanding of the community we strive to build, the many people who make up our community, and the individual contributions we all make to help form this dynamic learning environment. We know that while new students are surrounded by welcoming faces, they are making their way over unfamiliar terrain.

Our programs in the opening days are geared toward helping everyone get acclimated—to feel confident about who and where they are. These programs are designed by in-house experts—our own faculty and students—who know what being new to Milton feels like and what experiences will be helpful in those first few days. Each person at our School contributes to the Milton environment in big and small ways every day.

For the opening of school schedule, visit the opening of school calendar.

During the first week, students new to the Upper School will participate in activities ranging from “ice-breakers” to group discussions. All students—new and returning—will engage with each other, faculty and staff. For example, Class IV students will go on a “find your classroom” tour with their advisee group (led by Class I volunteers) as part of their opening activities.

Interactions during orientation focus on a number of themes important to life at Milton. While students will spend some time learning the logistics of life at School, most of the time they will be meeting peers and anticipating certain key experiences. We help incoming students understand what they should expect at Milton and get a feel for what our school culture aims to be: how much their different life experiences and personal identities make this an outstanding place; how surprisingly talented their classmates are; how to manage academic challenges that may feel daunting; how to engage in a community that brings together members of communities from around the world; how to keep their parents in the loop while they become more independent; how to participate fully in a School where choices exceed the time available. These ideas, coupled with advice from current students, advisors and deans, are extremely valuable for successfully navigating Milton Academy.

Each of the first four days of school (Tuesday, September 5, through Friday, September 8) will include activities for both boarding and day students. We want all the activities to encourage students to be aware of the unique cultural gifts they bring to Milton and to begin to explore aspects of living and learning in a diverse community. Whether registering a laptop to the Milton network with the support of our ATS staff or greeting a new bus driver, every interaction is an opportunity to form a relationship that may last a lifetime.

Being new, however, is not a four-day experience. Since every day in the first year at Milton is a new day, students and families should anticipate using the full year to understand the rhythm of the School. Our comprehensive approach, which includes the advisor system, class assemblies, affective education classes, residential life meetings, Wednesday second period assemblies, and more, sustains the support that will be introduced in the opening days.

We all look forward to greeting students on Tuesday, September 5; spending time with them on Wednesday and Thursday, September 6 and 7; helping them get to classes on Friday, September 8; and helping everyone find ways to contribute to and get the most out of their Milton experience throughout the 2017–2018 school year.

Please note that play auditions begin on Wednesday, September 6, athletic practices, which start on Monday for varsity candidates, will take place on Saturday, September 9, and boarding students will have planned activities Sunday, September 10. Also remember that, as with every weekend, all students are invited to join in the evening activities on Friday and Saturday night.

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