Link Crew helps bridge high school grade gap

Next year both freshman and sophomores will be brand new to the high school. This will be the first time SAHS has had two large groups of students entering the school year at the same time. To help smooth their transition to high school life, a program called “Link Crew” is being implemented.

This high school transition program has upperclassmen trained to be peer-mentors to the younger students. Link Crew is a year-long program to help transition these students into high school life. Link Crew sets them up for success with social follow-ups, academic follow-ups, high school orientation and leader-initiated contacts.

“Link Crew will be new to our school next year. Our school has done orientation in the past, but it was a ‘lighter’ version of what Link Crew will be.  It differs in that with Link Crew there are academic and social follow ups between Link Crew Leaders and freshman that take place throughout the remainder of the school year.  These follow ups will vary throughout the school year,” Link Crew Coordinator Erin Nickleby said.

If a student needs help with anything they know who to go to,”

— Sundus Abdi

This program will make things less scary and more comfortable for new students. Link Crew hopes to help shrink the freshman-senior divide, helping students feel a part of the school community faster.

Juniors and seniors are selected to be Link Crew Leaders and positive role models, typically for incoming freshman. Since SAHS will have two grades coming in next year they will have double the amount of students to look after. The Link Crew Leaders help to guide freshman to discover what it takes to be successful in the transition into high school and to be successful in high school in general.

“Our first event will be just for Link Crew Leaders and it is our May Development Day.  It will be a fun way for the leaders to get to know one another and gear up for Link Crew before the school year ends.  Our Link Crew Leaders will also go through two days of training in August before freshman orientation on the first day of school,” Nickleby said.

The goal of this program is to create a welcoming environment for students, specifically those new to the building. It will forge a space where students are not frightened to ask questions. Before school starts, students get paired with their Link Leaders during orientation, so they get guidance throughout the entire year.

“We are going to lead a small group of kids each and show them around the school, basically be their upperclassmen ‘mentors’. If a student needs help with anything they know who to go to,” junior and Link Crew applicant Sundus Abdi said.