With sun on their backs and excited nerves in their stomachs, the Class of 2021 walked into St. Thomas Aquinas for the first time today as students. Today marks “Jumpstart Retreat”- an STA tradition that allows freshmen to begin their high school experience ahead of the other students. At Jumpstart, freshmen meet their new classmates, participate in activities and ice breakers led by older Saints, and get acquainted with the school facility. It is an opportunity for nerves to settle and for questions to be answered. (Dress code isn’t so bad. The teachers are really great. Lunch tastes good- especially buffalo chicken wraps!)
Alongside our new students from Dover, Rye, Newburyport, York and Farmington are young men and women from the other side of the world. 37 students join us this year via UTP High Schools, and they hail from Spain, China, Mexico, Hong Kong, Germany, Vietnam, Chile, South Korea, and Russia. Eager to use their English. These students listened and learned about their new educational journey at St. Thomas Aquinas- what to expect, how best to integrate culturally, how to fully enjoy life as a Saint.
Behind all of these fresh faces stands a concerned parent, whether literally or figuratively. We know this. And so, STA hosted a Parent Coffee this morning in its Notre Dame courtyard. Comfort comes with like-minded company and parents were presented with just such company this morning. For many, today marks a special milestone; we are blessed and happy to share this moment with families.
Tomorrow, freshmen will move on to Orientation Day where they will learn the “ins and outs” of their classroom schedule and receive information on what will be needed/expected in each class. Again, they will receive a day all to themselves surrounded by older Saints who want nothing more than to help their “little Saints” feel at home.