OPINION – High School Hoopla

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.”

3 Replies to “OPINION – High School Hoopla”

  1. Scott Jones

    Totally agree with the middle schoolers! What kind of hardship is it to have middle school students at the HS? I don’t get it? The premise for the opinion piece “Middle School Mayhem” seems silly really, but it’s also serious in that it strikes an intolerant tone, and my guess (hope) is that most of the HS kids do not feel represented by it. If they do however, then that is something the administration needs to nip in the bud. Middle schoolers need to feel like they are welcome whenever they enter the 46 campus. After all many of todays middle schoolers will be high schoolers there soon enough themselves and, one would hope, they’ll carry the torch of welcoming inclusion forward through their 4 years at the 46 campus and elsewhere. Happy to hear the brave middle schoolers are standing up for themselves!

    • Anonymous

      And this is why families who began at GCS before the high school are not happy. It is insulting and presumptuous for someone beginning her second year at Grace to be so unwelcoming and so resentful of kids who have been members of the GCS community for a decade.

  2. Anonymous

    As a high schooler who came from the middle school and has been part of the Grace community for over ten years, I understand both sides of this controversy. I am not opposed to middle schoolers sharing our space, but to high school students, it seems as though the 7th and 8th graders do not treat the space with respect. My literature class is held on the fourth floor, and every time the middle schoolers are in PE during our class, my teacher has to go into the hallway and remind them to be quiet. I had sympathy for them in the fall when this first started, but it is now January and the noise has not stopped. I am disappointed that the middle schoolers have behaved this way, as they should keep in mind that they are the oldest kids at the 86 campus, and that they, too are role models for the younger kids.

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