Virtual adaptation helps middle schoolers transition to Carlmont


Amelia Clevenger

To help eight-graders see the campus, the Eighth Grade Transition Team and Student Ambassadors created a virtual video tour of Carlmont. “It was very well planned out, and I think we’ve got some really good people involved. And the parents planning it were a big help,” Noe Foehr said.

Carlmont’s 8th Grade Transition Team and Student Ambassadors are helping many eighth-graders take the first steps in their high school career, even with social-distancing. 

Under normal circumstances, student-led tours happen throughout the year where eighth-graders can attend group or individual shadowing sessions. This year, the 8th Grade Transition Team and the Student Ambassadors created a virtual campus video tour for prospective students, as well as a Zoom session. Students can sign up for the Zoom session through the Carlmont website. 

“When Carlmont goes back to in-school learning, the ninth-graders will want to know where to go and what classes are where,” Misal Bhalala, a sophomore, said. “The video really helps them and tells them where each class is.”

Students watch the video and an introduction video from Principal Ralph Crame before their group shadowing session. 

“Right now, we’re doing everything online. It’s a Zoom meeting that students join, and the Student Ambassadors go through a presentation of all the things we would talk about in person,” Aylin Salahifar, a junior, said.  

Group shadowing sessions typically have 20 eighth-graders, led by two students. There is also an adult to monitor the call. At the end, the eighth-graders have the opportunity to ask the Carlmont students questions. 

For individual attention, there is a personal shadowing option. In previous years, individual shadowing consisted of a prospective student following a ninth-grader throughout the first portion of their day. 

Now, eighth-graders can meet one-on-one and talk to a 10th-grader for up to 30 minutes. 

“It’s working pretty well, especially the solo shadowing, because it’s shorter. The upcoming freshman is able to ask a lot more questions,” Bhalala said.

For many Student Ambassadors, they are thankful that the program has continued despite these unconventional times. 

“I think it gives a little bit of a sense of normalcy. For a lot of eighth-graders, the transition from middle school to high school is a pretty big deal,” Salahifar said. 

In addition to the beneficial aspect, many ambassadors love to share their Carlmont experience and love for the school. 

“I really like being able to introduce eighth-graders to Carlmont. It’s such a great community, and it’s a school that I really like and appreciate,” Noe Foehr, a sophomore, said. 

Overall, the 8th Grade Transition Team and Student Ambassadors continue to help eighth-graders have a smooth transition to high school. 

“I think it’s a good idea for everybody to shadow or talk to somebody who’s in high school, so they get the extra knowledge of the campus and the classes. I didn’t do that, and I feel like it’s something that I should have done,” Bhalala said.

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