By 509J Communications

It wasn’t a typical day at school for more than a dozen Warm Springs K8 students. Instead, the students boarded a school bus and headed 15 miles south to Madras. 

On this day, these students had an opportunity to see what it is like to be a student at Madras High School. They experienced what it would be like when they are walking the halls as a freshman.

“My first thought about the high school was that it was really big and when I first attended there I was probably going to get lost,” 8th Grade Student Riyah Stacona said.

The students were paired with a mentor student from MHS. The WSK8 students asked their mentors questions throughout the day, followed them around, and attended some of their classes with them.

“In my head it felt like it was kind of fun, but then kind of nervous at the same time,” 8th Grade Student Arthur Miller said.

The first activity for the students was a tour of the school. On this tour, they saw some of the many electives that are available for students. They made stops in the manufacturing, construction, graphic design/photography, art, and business classrooms.

Miller got a unique experience while in the manufacturing class. He got an up close experience with welding. 

“It was fun. My mentor was the one that was welding,” he said. “When you put the mask on , you can see everything but then once he hits the button then it turns black and you could only see the light that comes from the welding.” 

Manufacturing is one class that interested Miller when he is attending MHS. Another class that interested him was construction. 

“I could see myself doing it,” he said.

Each teacher presented to the students about the opportunities in their class whether it is working with their hands in construction class, or learning the ins and outs to photography and photo editing. There was something on hand for just about every student.

Stacona enjoyed the stop in Mr. Bleu Turrell’s art class. He teaches a number of art classes ranging from Art 1, Art 2, Advanced Art, and Advanced Ceramics. 

“I was interested in art because it seems like super relaxing,” she said. 

For Stacona, the tour and meeting with her mentor relieved some of the stress she had about attending high school next year. She currently is taking band and AVID as her electives at WSK8 and is interested in continuing those at MHS.

“I’m really excited to go there next year,” she said. “Because it seems like a really cool school and it just seems really fun. It makes it seem a lot less stressful once you like get kind of a feel for it.”

The tour is made possible due to the partnership between MHS and WSK8. 

“We are working on doing whatever we can to make this middle to high school transition a little bit easier for our students,” MHS Student Success Coordinator Cameron Rosenfield said. “Introducing the high school and showing off some of our CTE courses here is a great way to show these incoming students what awaits them.”

The tour was organized by Ardis Clark, an instructional specialist at WSK8, and Mariah Stacona, the Native American Liaision at MHS, with the help of Rosenfield.

“I love going on these tours with the students and showing them what is available next school year,” Clark said. “You can see it in their expressions when they find something they’re really interested in and it starts putting ideas in their minds about what classes to take when they’re in high school. This also gives them a chance to connect with some current high school students. The mentor students can serve as a role model for them next year if they need support.”

All 8th grade students will have the opportunity to tour MHS by the end of February. Then in March, those students will begin the forecasting process. This is where students will pick their classes they want to take when they are a freshman.

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