Richland Two Hosts Program to Help New Sixth Graders

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Sixth graders from Richland Two ruled the schools on Tuesday through a new program. "Step-Up to Sixth" is a district-wide offering aimed at helping the students transition by giving them a head-start before the school year begins tomorrow.

"If we didn't have this day, tomorrow we wouldn't really know where to go and stuff," said Ella Valafar, who's heading into Blythewood Middle School.

Sixth grade means changing teachers, using a locker for the first time and more class choices. Though there is a lot more freedom involved, students say with that freedom comes more responsibility.

"I think it's more hard because you have a certain time to be in the classes and a certain time to go to your lockers," said fellow student, Savannah Foxworth.

Blythewood Middle School Principal Karis Mazyck says by walking the students through their schedules and introducing them to their teachers, the district hopes the students will be less nervous and more likely to succeed.

"This is an opportunity for them to learn how to change their classes, learn how to change their lockers, learn how to go to lunch, learn procedures, learn about course offerings that they have," said Mazyck. "This is just a great opportunity that they have for them to learn about transition to middle school."

Most of the students say now they're just excited for the first day and offered some advice for those who may have some first-day nerves.

"Encourage yourself and don't let anybody bring you down," said Madison Carter.

"Don't act shy and if you need to ask a question, ask it," said Foxworth. "There's no such thing as a dumb question."

Richland Two and Orangeburg Consolidated Five are the last districts to head back to school on Wednesday.

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