Cheers and smiles filled the gym of Falcon Middle School on Aug. 1. The school’s most seasoned students, eighth grade WEB Leaders, welcomed about 290 sixth graders on their first day of school.
WEB, Where Everyone Belongs, is a nationwide student-led orientation program designed to help new students feel comfortable throughout their first year of middle school. Kendra Ramirez and Nicole Sinnott, teachers, coordinate the program at FMS.
“WEB is so important to set the tone for the entire school year. The program helps sixth graders start on a positive note as it partners new middle schoolers with experienced middle schoolers,” said Ramirez.
Student leaders apply at the end of their seventh-grade year to serve as ambassadors for the WEB program the following school year.
“Summer was short for our ‘Webbies.’ Last week they were at the school for two full days learning how to be a student leader and how to put on this huge orientation day,” Ramirez added.
After a high-energy assembly, WEB leaders talked with the new Firebirds in small groups, showed them around the building, introduced them to teachers and shared tips on small, but important things—like how to open a locker.
The sixth graders will continue to find a helping hand inside Firebird Nation. WEB is an ongoing program at the school—it’s not just about the first day. Throughout the year, WEB leaders will visit sixth grade advisory classes for WEB Wednesdays to talk about resilience, making positive choices and how to build study skills.
“I know the WEB program makes a difference because when we have WEB leaders come by, they tell me about their positive experience when they were a sixth grader,” Sinnott said. “I hope the sixth graders have fun today, and that they are excited to see their WEB leaders again.”