The excitement at Indian Trail Intermediate School is palpable.
The opportunity to be part of what is essentially a new school is an opportunity teachers, administration and students are taking full advantage of.
“So far it’s been good for me. I’ve met a lot of new people. The people in my class are really nice. I’ve had a chance to meet all of them. My teachers are also really nice. I’ve actually already learned a lot of stuff that I had forgot over the summer,” Peterson said.
What had Peterson already learned?
Well, a lot of math and a little bit of both science and social studies.
“I think it’s a really good school. I’ve already learned a lot, like I said,” he said.
Sixth-grader Olivia Roberts was excited to make the big move because of the opportunity to have band class. She hasn’t started playing yet, but she’s already learning how to count rhythm.
“I knew I would get to have band this year, so I got really excited about playing saxophone because my sister plays it,” she said.
Knowing that every student and every teacher were going to be starting out on the same level in a new school was comforting for the students.
“That way, I’m not as nervous, thinking I’m the only new one because everybody here is new, so I don’t really have to be as nervous to come here,” Peterson said.
This year Indian Trail Intermediate School replaced Indian Trail Middle School as it transitioned from a 6-7 campus to a 5-6 campus.
The transition has been in the works since 2007. The final piece of the puzzle was the completion of Science Hill High School’s 9th Grade Academy, which opened earlier this year.
Indian Trail is the now the home of 1,150 fifth-and sixth-graders. More than 20 teachers from the city’s eight elementary schools have joined the school’s ranks.
To meet the demands of the new students, new staff has been added, a new recreation area is being built, and new after-school programs are being implemented.
As expected, there were a lot of logistical changes with transitioning into a new school, but Principal Dave Peccia said everything has gone smoothly so far.
One of Peccia’s biggest concerns was making sure parents understood the new Indian Trail was different from a middle school.
“We’re not going to be a middle school. We’re an intermediate school and we’re focusing on those needs of fifth- and sixth-graders, so it is going to look different and it’s going to sound different and feel different than it was for sixth- and seventh-graders,” he said.
That difference is already noticeable to students, like Peterson and Roberts, who said they have more responsibility and challenging homework.
“I think we can handle it,” Roberts said.