Creating a better school climate for ‘the new kids’


Sophomore Elijah Armendariz Peavy arrived at South this trimester.

Melissa Thomas, Staff Writer

The enigma of a new student can catch the attention of the whole school. But how does it actually feel to be the person transferring in the middle of the year? Unnerving at the least. 

Their experiences as new students depend on the school community. At a school such as Bloomington South where faculty prides themselves on providing an open student body, it can be hard to distinguish how exactly the school’s ability to welcome incoming students can be improved.

Ida Sandin Sundkvist is from Sweden, a country that has been rated with the best education system in the world. Coming to South this year as a junior, Sandin Sundkvist felt she had an interesting “advantage” as an international student compared to one coming from out of state.

“I think there is a fascination coming from another country,” she said. “People are very welcoming and easy to talk to.”

While Sandin Sundkvist is fond of the peers she has met at South, she asks that teachers and faculty do more for new students like her.

“I didn’t know how to fill up my lunch account….my friends had to teach me how to sign up for Panther Plus,” she elaborates. “[The teachers] don’t really set you up…but students are very nice.”

Carolyn Mirer, a sophomore coming from a home school environment, enjoys it the most when teachers put her in groups in the classroom because “[she] gets to talk [to others] and form relationships.”

Mirer said that the “advantages” of being able to join clubs and participate in school activities at South made a huge difference in her transition from home school life. When asked about the other students at South, Mirer reiterated that “a lot of people are mostly nice and if you have questions you can go up to someone in the halls.”

The importance of showing a new student around school was a prominent theme in each students’ experience. An act as simple as letting them know where a classroom is often made their day.

Another student, Elijah Armendariz Peavy from California, agrees on the significance of “be[ing] open to talk to new people” when a student from another school comes in. He also notes the “friendly atmosphere” at South.

While each student is different, a few collective improvements in the school’s approach to mid-year incomers would help, these students said. As a returning student, being talkative and friendly is the easiest, and most effective, way to personally embrace such new students.

Hopefully this helps any students who are feeling lost or insecure in this new environment. You are not alone! There are plenty of others willing to help you out, whether a teacher or student, don’t be afraid to ask.