Shadow a Bruin Cub Club program helps incoming freshmen transition

Julianna Reth, Online Editor

Every cub needs a Bruin to show them what to expect and where to go, thus BCHS has fostered its new Shadow a Bruin Cub Club program to assist incoming freshmen.

Beginning on February 25 to April 9, every Tuesday and Thursday, 8th graders (“Cubs”) from Christa McAuliffe Middle School’s leadership class visited Bear Creek’s campus for a day to experience what it’s like to be in high school.

The intent of the program is to provide students with a glimpse into the academic side of the campus — the basis of the academic environment and how middle school is different from high school.

“I was pretty nervous at first,” Christa McAuliffe eighth grader Logan Sam said. “But I knew [the program] was a good opportunity for me to learn more about Bear Creek, what they have to offer, and just get a better understanding of the campus.”

Furthermore, the program aims to replace the anxiety and fear that incoming 9th graders may feel upon entering high school with excitement, knowledge and insight into what it’s like to be in high school classes and what is expected.  However, the program does not aim to replace the goals of freshmen orientation.

How the Cub Club Program works is the Cubs check into the office at 7:30 a.m. to receive a visitor pass ID and drop off their emergency cards.  Next, a member from the conflict mediation class meets the Cubs, provides them a packet of BCHS information (map of campus, paper to take notes, sports offered, and tutorial schedules), and proceeds to give them a tour of the campus.

After first period, the conflict mediator hands over the Cub to their Bruins that they will shadow for the day.  Both Cubs and Bruins had to go through an application process which asked them why they wanted to participate in the program in addition to their interests and goals. The Cub and Bruin are matched by their similar interests and goals.

The Cubs take notes as they shadow their Bruins for the rest of the day and report whatever they’ve learned or experienced back to the other students at their middle school.

The Cubs weren’t able to stay to experience any after school activities such as clubs or sport practices due to safety issues and lack of administrative supervision.

Vice Principal Sera Baysinger said that she would like to see the program expanded beyond Christa’s small leadership class to include both Delta Sierra and Elkhorn students.

“We’re accepting as much feedback as possible to start improving next year’s group of 8th graders that come to visit our school,” Baysinger said.  “The program is already very beneficial to both Bear Creek and the middle schools, but there’s always room for improvement.”

“I think [the program] was a huge success,” AVID teacher Lisa Deeter said. “The program kind of demystified the high school experience.  Bear Creek as the host school put forth a really positive vibe for them all. [the Cubs] left having a really good day; there was not one bump on the road and they echoed that at Christa as well.”

Although the Cubs were only able to spend a day on the campus, many are already beginning to feel their fear of high school expectations being replaced with excitement. Many were also satisfied with what each academic class had to offer and had fun learning and observing the environment.

“I wasn’t that nervous coming onto the campus because I was pretty excited and I’ve been here before,” Christa McAuliffe eighth grader Juliana Pena said. “I really liked the agriculture classes, but I’m scared about the high school work and presentations. Overall, I think high school has more freedom compared to middle school. Personally, I’m ready for high school.”

Christa McAuliffe’s Principal Pierre Kirby acknowledged the success of the program in an email to Deeter: “The Christa McAuliffe students felt this was a great and worthwhile experience and said thank you for their opportunity.  The campus tour and orientation provided by the mentor Bear Creek students was very helpful, organized, and helped Christa students get over their initial fear and nervousness about the ensuing day.”