Graduating from elementary school to junior high school is a huge milestone, says Biloxi Junior High School Principal Dennis Penton, and today about 350 fifth graders got their first glimpse of what they'll see next year when they make the move to sixth grade and the junior high campus.
The prospective sixth grade students from Gorenflo, Popp's Ferry, North Bay and Jefferson Davis heard an introduction from Penton before they toured the junior high campus.
It's going to be a new, larger world with plenty of opportunities for the students, Penton said.
"The whole of their educational experience changes," Penton said. "Up to this point they've been departmentalized, as a class unit, and now they're going to be moving toward a more specialized education, with plenty of electives to choose from. They're actually going to have a choice in some of the classes they take.
"And, of course, another change is going to the the size of the school and the interaction with older students. A student could be going from an elementary school of about 400 students to the junior high where we have 1,100 students," Penton said. "And at some point, there's going to be interaction with students in the seventh or eighth grades, whether it's at pep rallies, in band, or other multi-grade classes.
"It's going to be an exciting year for them, so each year we bring them in to get an early glimpse of what's in store."
Junior high counselors led groups of students on tours that included stops in the library, cafeteria, pupil accounting, nurse's station, courtyard, counselors' offices, and gymnasium. Also on the itinerary were the band hall, strings, and choir.
A handful of parents tagged along, too, for the 30-minute tours. Counselors will stage similar tours before next school year.
See the photos: To see nearly 200 photographs from the tours today, click here.
News and notes
Calendar for next year: The Biloxi School Board has approved the school calendar for the 2012-2013 school year. To see it, click here.
April athletics: Athletic Director Tom Gladney has released the schedule of atheltic events for April. To see the lineup, click here.
Career day: A number of professionals from a variety of fields will be at North Bay Elementary School on Tuesday to tell students about the various career choices they can make. Career Day, typically a big hit with North Bay students, will feature morning and afternoon sessions.