EDHS prepares local grade eight students for high school

Emma Cadarette, Alex Jobin, Kyra Brown, and Erin Armaly, a few of the members of EDHS’s swim team, were excited to talk to future Red Raiders about this sports team and the benefits of getting involved during last week’s Open House.

by Sylene Argent

September may seem an eternity away for local grade eight students, while they are trying to pick up their studies after the Christmas Break. The reality is, however, those students will start their secondary school education in around eight short months. And, many of those students, at that time, will find themselves walking the halls of Essex District High School (EDHS).

Transitioning into high school can be an intimidating experience for some students as they have to meet new friends, tackle high school-level homework and class projects, and learn the layout of the facility. That is why EDHS hosted its annual Grade Eight Open House in the school gymnasium last Thursday evening.

During this informative event, the future Red Raiders, in attendance with family members, learned what will be expected of them in order to excel as a member of the EDHS family.

The students listened intently as they learned EDHS offers four learning streams, and how they can decide which stream is best for their own high school journey. The students also learned about the Specialist High Skill Major courses available in certain subjects.

During the information session, the students learned which classes were mandatory and about the electives they will be able to choose to fill their class schedule, while ensuring they are preparing to graduate, on time, after four short years of study.

They also leaned they would all need to complete 40 hours of community service in order to get their high school diplomas. Staff members of EDHS, however, noted they recommend the students go beyond the recommended hours, listing the benefits, such as standing out for a job or potential school-orientated awards. Students can begin earning community service hours the day after they graduate from their respected elementary schools.

While every student aims for their own personal success as a high school student, they were reassured, during the Grade Eight Open House, that the EDHS Guidance Department was there to help and guide them in the right direction.

After the completion of the informative presentation, participants were given the opportunity to tour the EDHS facility, visit grade nine classrooms, and ask questions of their future teachers.

Participating in the Grade Eight Open House, however, was not just about the academics. The future Red Raiders were also able to learn about the variety of clubs and sports teams they may be able to join.

Alex Jobin and Kyra Brown of the EDHS Swim Team were two of the teammates on hand during the Grade Eight Open House. They were excited to greet future Red Raiders and encourage them to tryout for the EDHS Swim Team. The girls said getting involved is a great way to make a lot of friends.

Members of the Swim Team practice four times a week, and participate in several competitions. “We compete and work as a team,” Jobin said.

Brown added getting involved is nothing to be scared of as everyone is supportive.

Hannah Kiessling was one of the many members of the EDHS Concert Band onsite. She said the concert band performed during the Grade Eight Open House and members were later available to speak to any of the grade eight students interested in instrumental music.

Though Kiessling, a grade 12 student, began playing a variety of percussion instruments before she started high school, students can start learning in grade nine, she reassured.

Getting involved in the Concert Band, she said, is a great way to meet new friends. Band members also get to go on trips and compete or perform at a variety of music-orientated events.  

Pictured are some of the members of the EDHS Concert Band who were on hand during the Grade Eight Info Night to discuss the benefits of joining the ensemble with future Red Raiders.