Freshmen Orientation kicks off school year

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Link Crew member and junior class president Sophia Kim hands out Palo Alto High School merchandise to incoming freshmen as a part of Orientation day hosted Tuesday at Palo Alto High School. Freshmen were given tours of campus by members of the Link Crew and participated in various activities held by ASB, including a Pizza dinner and games. Additionally, students received their photo IDs and Chromebooks in preparation for the school year. ASB president Ashley Meyer said she is extremely grateful for the efforts of the volunteers who helped set up the event. “I was worried that people would sign up and forget about it over the summer,” Meyer said. “But people were really dedicated to making this day happen which was amazing.” (Photo: Daniel Garepis-Holland)

Payton Anderson and Avi Srinivasan

Students are reacting positively to freshmen Orientation Day hosted by Link Crew on Aug 9 at Palo Alto High School. 

The event started with an introduction from Associated Student Body director Steve Gallagher, welcoming the new students to campus. 

Gallagher said Orientation Day is an effective introduction for freshmen to help transition them into high school.

“They get to meet new people and feel a little bit more comfortable about that first day,” Gallagher said. “Kind of like, ‘this is where my history classes will be or this is gonna be where PE is and where to get your picture taken and get that out of the way.’”

The Link Crew consisted of 65 members from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes, something that hasn’t happened in past years, according to ASB President Ashley Meyer. Link Crew members were involved in giving tours around campus and showing students each department as well as hosting games and Q and As.

Additionally, each student at the event received a personal Chromebook and student photo ID.

Meyer said the increase in volunteers helped the setting up process, including a pizza dinner organized by ASB and parent volunteers.

“It [this year’s Orientation Day] is less people touring around and we got a lot more volunteers, which is great,” Meyer said. “We have two Link Crew members per group so that the students have more upperclassmen that they can talk to throughout the tour.”

According to Meyer, this year’s Orientation was less hectic than last year’s which was challenging due to the Orientation cancellation from the year before.

“Last year it was the first new student Orientation since COVID happened,” Meyer said. “We had both sophomores and freshmen here and new students here so it was a bit chaotic. We [also] had less volunteers from the Link Crew, but this year it’s just freshmen.”

Orientation is the first introduction many incoming freshmen have to Paly, and this year students were excited about the event. 

“It [Orientation Day] has been very helpful because I know where things are a little bit better,” freshman Carter Bader said.  

Freshman Anokhi Chandra agreed with Bader and said orientation was a great way to get a sense of what Paly is like. 

“The school is pretty big but it already seems like there is a big community of people here,” Anokhi Chandra said. 

Meyer said ASB has several activities planned to help incoming students feel more comfortable navigating Paly’s campus.  

“This Friday we have a rally during lunch out on the quad just to introduce new students to what Paly is all about and kind of get everyone hyped for the school year,” Meyer said.