Back to School, Montrose-style

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Montrose’s start opening day traditions are extensive. After ordering new polos, knee socks and red sweaters, most students got new black dress shoes, either loafer, mary jane or tie-up to meet the new shoe policy. Then there was the back-to-school notebook and supply trip. Choosing the right binders, notebooks, pens and pencils is always complicated by the color-coding process. Which class should have which color?

Then the all-important locker decoration plans begin. Students tote in bags and backs of accessories. Student decor ranges from the practical — shelves for stacking books and binders and magnetic pencil holders — to the artistic and vain. Some students put wall paper in their lockers or color-match designs. One student has a silk flower display attached to the inside of her locker door. Some ceiling chandelier lights adorn some student lockers, and magnetic mirrors can be seen in most. A long homeroom period the first day provides plenty of time for locker touches.

Students then gathered for the all-school assembly, where Dr. Bohlin spoke on the growth mindset. No one’s intelligence or abilities are fixed; all can grow with practice and guidance. The annual all-school handshake ceremony for new students and teachers followed: The entire school lines up outside, stretching from the M&M building to the front door. New students and faculty then shake the entire community’s hands.

Waiting inside the front door was the ever-ready Nurse Rose, who doused each of us with hand sanitizer to keep the germ pool to a minimum. An all-school chapel followed, with Fr. Dick blessing the school year.

Students then had a long break with a “family advising” meeting. Students played games, did crafts, shared snacks, and got to know new advisors and the other advisees in their group. After this, students proceeded to shortened classes, to get syllabi, learn expectations, meet teachers, and collect the first homework assignments.

The day ended with a splash, as the Student Government — dressed in pink — sang and danced to introduce the theme of the year: perspective. Activities and messages encouraging students to take the broad perspective on their lives will help them maintain a growth mindset in all they do, and not let the small challenges overwhelm.

At Montrose, we celebrate new starts with flare!

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