Wooster Today - September 2017

Wooster Eases Students Into New School Year

By Brooke Thaler, Publications Teacher

Running in a three-legged race, untying a human knot, and carrying eggs on your head isn't normally what kids envision when they think about their first day of school. But that's how we kicked things off at Wooster this year -- with the first annual Wooster Olympics. Opening Day happened to fall on a Thursday, which provided the perfect opportunity for students and teachers to get back into the swing of things before the long holiday weekend.

In an email to parents and students, Director of Divisions Chris Pannone wrote, "Wooster's opening days of school are a mix of the traditional - meeting teachers, attending classes, obtaining course syllabi - and community-building. On both opening days, we will have time dedicated to getting to know each other better, trade summer stories, and have some fun."

And that’s exactly what we did. All Middle and Upper Schoolers started their school year with advisory, abbreviated classes, community lunch on Coburn Lawn, and then... the games began.

Olympic teams were based on Upper School advisories, with Middle Schoolers distributed among those teams. Each group decorated a flag during lunch, and then teams marched, Olympic-style, down to Warner Field, where nine stations were set up. After group and team cheers, we were off -- running in relay races, eating crackers and whistling, and working together as a team. Teachers and advisors also got in on the action, either by competing or running the stations and cheering everyone on. It was a great afternoon that may just become an annual tradition to start off the school year.

On Day Two, we started with reflections, and set our goals for the upcoming year. More shortened classes followed, and then we spent another afternoon outside, this time for our second annual "Rocinante Time." Students had the freedom to move around campus with their friends and participate in activities like corn hole, Capture the Flag, volleyball, Mandala, and nature walks. By the time Friday came to an end, there had been plenty of time for everyone to get the jitters out and catch up with old friends while meeting new ones, to get acclimated around campus, and prepare for reality on Tuesday morning -- the first full day of school.

Here’s wishing everyone a great school year!

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