Incoming freshmen preview Carlmont through shadowing program


Brayden Young

Students work on homework during lunch. Prospective freshmen have a chance to experience this life for half a day when they shadow at Carlmont.

As the school year progresses, many eighth-graders look to high school students to set an example of what they can expect in their upcoming freshman year.

On Oct. 1, Carlmont High School began individual shadowing. Shadowing is an opportunity for eighth-graders to tour high schools. By shadowing, the incoming freshmen can understand what different high schools are like and form a decision on where to attend.

“Early in the school year, many students are not sure which high school they’d like to go to,” said Sunny Tokunaga, a volunteer on the eighth grade transition team at Carlmont. “Shadowing gives them an opportunity to compare schools and know what Carlmont is like.”

Carlmont offers two types of shadowing: individual shadowing and group shadowing, both of which have their perks. 

“Group shadowing gives the student a chance to walk through the campus and see some of the extracurricular activities,” Tokunaga said. “In individual shadowing, the eighth-grader will experience three periods and see what the classroom dynamic looks like.”

Instead of a student volunteer, as in the case for individual shadows, group shadows tour with a designated guide. The decision of a group or individual shadowing by the student may involve many factors. For example, some may prefer a more social tour of the school, while others would rather experience how a realistic day would seem.

“I chose group shadowing,” said Madison Andrews, an eighth-grader at Ralston Middle School. “I’ll be with friends, and it’ll be less awkward.”

Students not only get to see the social aspect of high school but also how classes are taught. This can include core courses like math and English, as well as the way elective courses are taught compared to the electives they may have in middle school. 

Group shadowing is popular among many students because they prefer a more social environment. However, it also ensures that nearly every prospective student has the chance to shadow at Carlmont.

Pullquote Photo

I wanted to do the individual shadow, but it was too late to sign up.”

— Arman Agarwal

“I did the group shadow last year,” said Arman Agarwal, a freshman at Carlmont. “I wanted to do the individual shadow, but it was too late to sign up.”

Individual shadowing runs weekly from October until January, while group shadowing occurs only on Oct. 30 and Jan. 22.

During last year’s group shadows, the eighth-graders saw performances by the cheer team, choir, and even the robotics team.

Aidan Kurt
Students arrive at Carlmont before school starts on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Students have a later start on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, starting at 9:35 a.m. instead of the usual 8:57 a.m., which may differ from the schedule prospective freshmen shadows are used to.

By participating as a shadow, students will not only be better prepared for their freshman year but also have an idea of which school they wish to attend. They will also gain an understanding of the courses at Carlmont.

Although the purpose of shadowing is for academic purposes, many shadows and freshmen find the process enjoyable.

“I just thought [hosting a shadow] would be fun,” Agarwal said. “It’s a good way to be included in the school and influence someone’s decision.”