Violets 101 program welcomes new students

Seventh graders Brigit ’23 and Olivia ’23 talk with each other while waiting for the bus. Staff photographer Samantha ’20.

The Violets 101 program, an orientation for incoming seventh graders, was moved from the last week of summer break to the first two days of classes in order to increase attendance. 7th Grade Dean Nichole Gomez noticed that in the past, some students had to miss Violets 101 because they were on vacation during summer break.

“There were still a lot of people who were traveling, and it made it difficult for everybody to be back,” Gomez said. “So in order to sort of alleviate that stress of who’s going to be there and who’s not going to be there, we decided to move it to Monday and Tuesday.”

In addition, the move allowed more faculty and administrators to be present at Violets 101, as many of them were not available during the summer. Having the program later also made sure all the classrooms were ready in time for the new seventh graders.

“We wanted the school to be completely ready,” Director of Middle School Sean Fitts said. “What happens sometimes is there’s a long conversion between summer camp and school, and during that time, different rooms are being upgraded and remodeled and there’s a lot of work going on around the school.”

The change did not come without challenges. Many of the seventh graders did not have access to their Marlborough email accounts until after school began, which made it difficult for the administration to communicate with the class.

Jocelyn ’23 felt that even though the program had some issues, it was ultimately helpful.

“The whole experience was kind of drawn out, but overall I think it was good,” Jocelyn said. “It was a positive experience because it helped me learn more about Marlborough and helped me get integrated into the school.”

The administration is already working on improving the Violets 101 program for next year. They are considering doing the technology portion of the program in the spring when the incoming seventh graders are taking their placement tests, and shortening the rest of Violets 101 to one day instead of two.

“We implemented something new, and now we have to make some adjustments to make it work better,” Fitts said. “But in the end, hopefully we’ll hit it just right.”

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