Irondequoit creating virtual school tours for third-graders


Usually, the incoming class gets to visit their new school. That experience is now moving online.

It’s a daunting process for a kid to move from one school to the next, especially when you didn’t traditionally leave the last one. But the Irondequoit School District is trying to ease the transition, with virtual tours. 

Typically, third-graders would take a visit to their new school to look around and meet new faces. But now the tours are going online just like learning itself.

“Sometimes they’re a little anxious about coming into the larger building with many more kids and many more new faces,” says Christian Zwahlen, Iroquois Middle School Principal. “We hope that our virtual tour will just continue to ease some of those anxieties and again give them that sense of reassurance and continuity that we want.”

Marian Woodson is a third-grader in the school district and says that she’s excited, but a little nervous to move up.

“I’ve been at Seneca my whole life and I’m gonna feel like I’m ready to change schools,” Woodson says.

She adds that seeing her new school beforehand will help her when she starts next year.

One part missing from the tour is getting to ask questions, which is being replaced with zoom calls next month.

“We want to make sure we’re connecting with them, letting them know we can’t wait for them to come and answering any of those questions that they might be wondering or be a little nervous about,” says Michelle Flood, Rogers Middle School Principal.

It’s another way to show that while the buildings themselves may be closed, school is certainly not.

“Yes, we have this physical distance between our school and our students, but how can we close the emotional distance and the relational distance, that’s what we’re really trying to get at,” says Zwahlen.

The virtual tours will be available for students to watch starting next week.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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