Despite the unusual circumstances of these past months, 88 current students signed up to become Secondary Student Ambassadors for new students in August.
An impressive number of ICS Secondary students in Grades 6-11 registered to attend the online Student Ambassador (SA) training, which was held virtually this year on Friday 15 May. Some of the students attending the workshop were already in classrooms on campus, while others were still in Learning@Home.
Whether they joined from home or from the classroom, the students' virtual training session this year revolved around the Student Ambassadors' responsibilities and included, among other things, the SAs' specific assignments, information about Transition Process Theory, and everything the SAs would need to know before welcoming new classmates on New Student Orientation Day in August 2020.
Student Ambassadors correspond with new students throughout the summer before their first meeting actually takes place on New Student Orientation Day in August. On that day, SAs introduce new students to grade level groups and tutors, give school tours and try their best to answer new students' questions helpfully and positively. During the training session the SAs reviewed samples of introductory emails they could send to new students and took note of ways of writing emails that were especially welcoming.
Our Student Ambassadors are responsible for making all new students, not just those assigned to them, feel comfortable at ICS. Together with the ICS Middle School and High School Counselors who ran this year's workshop, the students reviewed the art of making small talk, how to ask open-ended questions and how to be active listeners. The SAs also learned that sharing anecdotes with new classmates, for example, can be a good way of putting them at ease.
SAs are responsible for introducing new students to our school's layout and structures, school schedules, digital spaces and extracurricular activities. In addition, the SAs play an important role in supporting new students in developing friendships and social connections with their classmates. It goes without saying that SAs are also available to answer any questions new students might have before and during Orientation day, on the first day of school, and during the first weeks that school in session.
By putting themselves in the shoes of a new students attending ICS for the first time, our SAs build empathy and are encouraged to think carefully about what a new student might be feeling in their early days at our school. Positive feedback received from students and their families who were new to ICS in past years has been a consistent indicator of how much the engagement and genuine interest our Student Ambassadors show for new students in our community is appreciated and valued.
ICS is justifiably proud of our enthusiastic and well-prepared Secondary Student Ambassadors, who we are confident will provide all their new classmates with a first-rate introduction to ICS, keeping it positive, warm and welcoming!