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Milton’s programming for new students begins on Tuesday, September 8. Opening of school activities are designed to help students get to know one another, get to know the adults on campus, and help them feel comfortable at School. 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 good 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.

For the opening of school schedule, visit the opening of school calendar. Links to a student’s opening of school schedule will also be posted in the myMilton account.

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 our different personalities and backgrounds make this an outstanding place; how surprisingly talented students’ classmates are; how to manage the particular academic challenges that may feel daunting; how to keep parents in the loop while students 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 three days of school (Tuesday, September 8, through Thursday, September 10) 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 explore aspects of living in a diverse community. Whether registering a computer 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 three-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 meeting students on Tuesday, September 8; spending time with them on Wednesday, September 9; helping them get to classes on Thursday, September 10; and helping everyone get the most out of their Milton experience throughout the 2015–2016 school year. Please note that play auditions begin on Wednesday, September 9, and athletic practices, which start on Monday for varsity candidates, will take place on Saturday, September 12. Also remember that, as with every weekend, all students are invited to join in the evening activities on Friday and Saturday night.