As freshmen navigate Zoom rather than hallways, Student Council has organized the Senior Sibling program to establish a connection between ninth and 12th graders.
“We think this tradition is valuable to both freshmen and seniors,” Student Council Executive Officer Aly Bannister said. “Especially during this time, we want to reinforce that feeling of community whether that be through check-ins or having someone you can go to with questions.”
Convent’s senior sister program previously allowed freshmen girls to have someone to contact in the community. The pairing has been renamed the Senior Sibling program as the boys at Stuart Hall High School are taking part in it this year.
“It’s not just about bringing back a legacy that already existed in the Convent High School division, but taking into consideration the wider challenge of trying to bring ninth graders in under abnormal circumstances,” Buckley said. “This can really help them feel like this is their home and not just someplace they Zoom into.”
Although freshmen have gathered in advisories to discuss their first session classes at the start of the school year, traditional in-person events such as the Ice Cream Social have been cancelled. The pairing system also gives freshmen an opportunity to meet older students in the community.
“As an incoming freshman, it can be difficult to navigate your way through social settings and to establish friendships, especially when remote learning is in place,” freshman Sam Buscemi said. “Knowing an upperclassman can help take the edge off of starting a new school.”
The first group gathering is scheduled to take place on Oct. 27 during Advisory. All activities will continue to transpire during the advisory period.
“As a senior ‘sibling,’ I want to be a role model that my freshman looks up to,” Olivia Callander said. “I think it is my job to help her smoothly transition into high school.”
Freshmen and seniors filled out a Google Form that included questions about sports, classes, favorite activities with friends and favorite shows or books to determine the right sibling for each student.
The surveys gathered basic information to help student government leaders pair couples who share similarities that would make it easier to connect, according to Buckley.
“We understand that the freshmen are not getting a typical first year of high school,” Bannister said. “We want to ensure that they feel the supportive nature of the Convent community even online.”