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Byron Center students get the ‘“jitters” out at 8th grade orientation

Byron Center West Middle School eighth-graders Kiersten Woudstra and Janelle Baar had some advice for incoming seventh graders while helping them check in at orientation day. 

“I think they will do good, but maybe have some trouble with the lockers,” Kiersten said.

“I would say ‘ask’,” said Janelle. “Everybody here is so nice; they’ll help you with what you need.” Seventh grader Eric Gervase gets comfortable with the surroundings

New seventh-graders spent a morning getting the butterflies out at “Jitters Day”, where they met teachers, Principal John Krajewski, and learned their way around the school.

Perhaps most exciting, they got to pick up their MacBook Air laptops. The district is starting the second year of its 1:1 laptop program for seventh-twelfth grades. 

Eighth-graders Kiersten Woudsta and Janelle Baar greet new seventh graders at Byron Center West Middle SchoolSeventh grader Kaitlyn Koster said having four minute between classes is a little nerve-wracking.

“I’m kind of afraid I’ll get lost,” she said. 

Krajewski said the transition from sixth- to seventh-grade is a big one, and students have to get used to a six-period day and the amount of rigor required in classes.

“We want to relieve their anxiety, show them it’s a safe place but with the bar set high,” he said.

Connect: Byron Center

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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