Orientation Week is a time when Middle and Upper School students travel together on local adventures, a fun and intentional means to ease nerves and encourage bonding at the start of the new school year. These trips offer students the opportunity to connect with friends old and new, interact with many different teachers who chaperone the trips, and enjoy outdoor experiences as a group. Students and teachers report back that it is always a benefit to kick the year off with these excursions before they all settle back into the classroom routines.
This year, SD Middle School students traveled to Point Bonita Lighthouse, Crissy Field and Angel Island, and did some hiking and kayaking around the Bay. For our Upper School students, we held orientation activities over two days for each grade level. In Ninth Grade, students traveled to Fort Point and Crissy Field in San Francisco, and to Angel Island in the Bay on Friday. Tenth Graders discovered camping and kayaking on Lake Sonoma. And Juniors ventured to the Russian River for camping and kayaking.
Seniors got the gift of more dedicated time with our beloved SD College Counselors! Each student received an overview of the fall application process, participated in workshops, enjoyed group activities and a special dinner together on campus. The college counselors also presented an overview in virtual format to the parents Thursday evening. Friday they had time to actually start writing and filling out applications. This time is so important for our Seniors, and it is a valuable experience to receive instruction as a group.
We thank all the teachers and staff who chaperoned the trips, to the parents for being flexible as details changed in these COVID-19 times, and to our amazing students who showed a great sense of SD Panther Pride and a love for building community.