Although travelling to the High School campus this year has been helpful for the middle schoolers to get a feel for the building, we have felt unwelcome. We started this year with open minds, however after reading a recent article in The Grace Gazette titled, “Middle School Mayhem,” we have noticed a negative change at the high school. Although the high school students may have disliked us “roaming” (Thea Polsky ‘20) and “invading” (Misha Cutter-Nye ‘19) their campus, it has affected the seventh and eighth at 86, and has made us question the unity of GCS as a whole.
In the article, many students express their beliefs about the association of the two divisions. Many of the students in the high school did not experience the Middle and Lower divisions at Grace, and cannot fully comprehend that this is one school. To quote, “For many the high school is seen as separate, even disassociated, from the lower and middle school. It is difficult to make a mental transition from having no consistent relationship with 86, to seeing the middle on an almost daily basis” (Polsky ‘19). Although we understand that it is difficult for the high school students to see middle schoolers on “an almost daily basis” it has also been a rough transition for us. Travelling to the high school is a time consuming task, and we lose tutorial and have to walk, rain or shine, to the 46 campus. It has been difficult to grow accustomed to, and the awkward atmosphere in the high school just makes the transition harder.
Last year, and many years prior, high school students came to the 86 campus for P.E., and chapel. In addition, High school athletics has pushed middle schoolers out of their own gym and forced basketball and volleyball to travel elsewhere for seven years. Middle school sports have had practices cut short on practices prior to their games, which has hindered their game play. Although there is a new fourth floor and a multipurpose room on the 46 campus, the high school still uses Tuttle Hall for dance, drama performances, music, etc. The use of Tuttle takes students from grades JK-8 out of their own class rooms and forces teachers to find a new classroom for classes such as, P.E. and drama. It is also difficult for us to have students, who are larger than we are, in our space. However, in an effort to coexist as one school we will continue to welcome them.
Another topic of “Middle School Mayhem” is that we are disrupting a distinct “transition” from middle school to high school. Many of the eighth graders are only matter of months younger than the ninth graders. Some eighth-graders even had friends in ninth grade prior to their moving up in divisions. It is said that some high schoolers believe that the Grace faculty are trying to “undermine this distinct transition [middle to high school]” (Polsky ‘20). It has been said that the experience is purely happening to make the school more cohesive and united. One of the original goals of adding a High School at Grace was to make the “distinct transition” as easy as possible for the middle school students.
Overall, “Middle School Mayhem” is an unfair article that does not fully describe the reality of this situation, since the middle schoolers have not intentionally done anything to hinder the high school community. Many high schoolers clearly fail to understand that we share this school, and it does not solely belong to them. We hope that because of these two articles, GCS will become more united between divisions.
This editorial was written by current Grace 8th Graders Kiera H. and Ruby J. as a response to Grace Gazette article “Middle School Mayhem.”