A special buzz hummed about the Hiawatha campuses last week in anticipation of family orientation nights. There is something about this time of year, coming back to school. The heat persists, but the smell of crayons, new books, and freshly sharpened pencils evokes memories of fall.

Hugs with claims of “You’ve gotten so tall!” filled the room as principals greeted returning scholars by name. Middle schoolers made their rise to the next grade level official by picking up their new uniforms in the color of their class. Ninth graders were introduced to their academic advisers, who will be with them throughout their 4-year high school career.

Family orientation is the first chance for many families to reconnect with each other after 8 weeks of summer. They meet their scholar’s teachers and learn about the bus schedules. They meet families of their scholar’s classmates, classmates who will become their scholar’s rock for the year. At Hiawatha, we believe that school is a place for community, that children must feel safe to try and fail and grow alongside their classmates, and the classroom environment fosters that sense of familial bonds between scholars.

In parents’ preferred language, teachers invited them to volunteer in the school and sign up for optional home visits. Home visits offer teachers and families a time to get to know each other better and build a foundation for a great relationship for the school year.

The whole Hiawatha team is thrilled to have scholars and families returning to school this year. The energy and excitement was palpable. Here’s to making this year the best yet!

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HCHS teacher Nadia Nibbs welcomes scholars back to campus