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Madison Jr. High welcomes students back to school, hopes to help ease transition into new year

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - The first bell of the school year has rung reminding students at Madison Jr. High in Rexburg summer break has ended and the school year has begun.

The school has welcomed 1,300 students into its doors making the school one of the largest middle schools in the Gem State. Of the 1,300 students, 100 of them were new students in the district and or area itself with a bunch more brand new seventh graders.

Four members of the student council who are in ninth grade say a goal they have for the year is to help the new students to the school.

"We want to make them feel welcome and make them feel included," Corbin Tietjen said.

One of his classmates Sullivan Carter says part of how they do that is by, "trying to maybe not improve the school, but, you know, help something, help it out a little bit, make it a better environment for people, you know."

Eliah Gordo says while the year is just starting, the student council is already trying to, "make them feel welcome. Make them have a fun year." Clay Sutton also says while helping them feel comfortable and helping them have fun in the school there's one more thing they are hoping to do. "make sure they love the school as much as we do."

For Clay and his three classmates, this is their final year at Madison Jr. High, and they are all excited for what the school year may bring.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my math teacher. She's awesome. She's just the best," said Clay. "My history teacher, because he's been friendly and crack jokes with me since I was a seventh grader. So I'm excited that I'm finally in his class." Eliah said. He says he's also excited to be going to the high school next year. "I'm pretty excited because I get to change schools next year."

"I'm really looking forward to working in the steam console and that's going to be a lot of fun," Sullivan said.

He added there's some classes and teachers he's looking forward to taking and seeing.

"I really like history. I'm excited for that. I've heard the teacher is pretty good. So also looking forward to math because I've just been good at math." A subject Corbin is also looking forward to, "I love math."

Jason and Emily Murphy have a son who is starting a new school after they recently moved to the area. As parents they felt some nerves as their child started their school day.

"We're a little nervous for them. This is the first day we just moved up to Rexburg. A week ago. So this is his first day of first day. He doesn't have any friends here yet. So we moved from Hawaii during the middle of COVID to Pocatello. And then for my husband's construction company, he works up in Victor. We moved closer here to Rexburg, so he's had a lot of, you know, change in the last two years," said Emily.

Despite the nerves of the day, the parents are "hoping it goes well."

They say their son was was perhaps a bit more nervous than they were.

"He's been up and down. He's excited to go, but he has a lot of anxiety too. I just think meeting new people, this is his first time walking around. He literally doesn't know anybody. I ran into an old friend from BYU, Hawaii, and her son still here," Emily said.

She says the family's nerves were calmed a bit when one of their son's fellow students went above and beyond.

"What's really nice about this school is we pick up a schedule and then somebody grabbed him right away and said, oh, I'll show you around. So, like, we're really grateful for Madison Junior High because I mean, they had a really good system, so he didn't even have to like say, well, someone showed me around. He had some, some nice young man just pick him up and he said, I'll show you."

The school's principal Mr. Wade Carlson says those moments are exactly what he and his staff at the school hope for.

"So yesterday we had an orientation for all our new students and seventh graders where they got come in with. We had a quick conversation in our gym and then they were allowed to wander through the school and meet their teachers and can learn the route to their classrooms. We also have like daily announcements where we get a kind of visit with them and give them updates and talk to them. Kind of go over some of the expectations as well as the incredible things we have. We do clubs. We find ways to get kids involved. We walk, create connections with them and have them feel like they're part of the school and have a place for them."

Mr. Carlson says with it being the first day of school the staff is taking an extra step to help out, "kinda try to calm their nerves and kinda give them direction. A lot of them have questions where to go, so we try and help them out."

He says when you go to drop your child off at Madison Jr. High, you will notice something unique taking place.

"We always have a teacher out meeting the busses and kind of out in the hallways. That's just the way it start the day. I think it's important to the kids. First thing they see is a smile when they walk into the building. And of course that helps with safety, which is a priority."

Mr. Carlson also says he and the staff are excited for the school year and hope to make it "a good year."

Article Topic Follows: Education
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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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