Adios middle school

The class of 2020 prepares to enter grade 9


The girls of Class of 2020 enjoyed their night of Semi-Formal in their fabulous dresses and blasting music.

On Friday, May 6, the entire grade participated in the Eighth Grade Day of Reflection, organized by Mr. Adams, Mr. Gray, and Ms. Shiozawa, followed by the Grade 8’s Semi-Formal. The day itself provided a valuable opportunity for the grade to spend time together, reflect on their middle school career, and ask any questions about what the transition from middle school to high school will be like.

This year’s eighth grade is comprised of 13 veterans who have been experiencing ISSH life for the most of their years, and 33 students who have also become an essential part of the class of 2020. Alice—an ISSH veteran who has been at the school since 2005—says, “I love this school, and I like how the school is special because it’s international.” Many people in the grade seem to agree and also enjoy the strong aspect of internationalism within the school. Maria Giulia, who joined the school in fourth grade, agrees that it is “nice to see the different cultures.”

In regards to entering high school, the students are experiencing a wide range of feelings, spanning from excitement, to curiosity, to apprehension. When asked how she felt about entering high school, Sarina (8G), replied, “Can’t wait to get out of here!” and expressed her delight at the prospect of more freedom in terms of activities and responsibility during her approaching high school years. Alternatively, Sarah (8G) expressed her fear at the probable change that there will be more studying to be done, “I feel terrible and I never want to grow up. I don’t feel prepared at all, and I’m terrified of the responsibility that will be dumped onto me.”

In order to reassure the students, considering how most of them agreed to Sarah, the homeroom teachers of the class organized a time during the Day of Reflection when inquiries involving many different aspects of high school life—academics, extra-curricular, sports, and rules—were answered by seven current ninth graders: Sarah, Ena, Kenzie, Genevieve, Jennifer, Ayana, and Nicole. Thankfully, after a full hour of burning questions were answered, the eighth graders were able to alleviate some stress about high school. Hannah R. (8G) says that she’s “excited for the new changes ahead.”

While most of the students were intimidated by the sheer fact that they will be soon high schoolers, the homeroom teachers of the class, Mr. Gray and Ms. Shiozawa, expressed confidence in the students moving to high school. “It’s an active group. You are in sports, academics, orchestra, and choir,” Mr. Gray said. “You’re goofy and you’re loud sometimes, but you certainly step up when you need to, and are responsible.”

Ms. Shiozawa continued, “I guess seeing you guys from grade 6 to grade 8, now, I can see how much you’ve grown—how much I can let you be on your own and handle yourselves. You’ll get things done. I don’t have to hold your hands and guide every step like I used to.”

Mr. Gray, as Social Studies and homeroom teacher, added, “By this stage in the game, you’re ready to go to high school. You may not think that you’re doing the right things or making the right decisions, but you are.”