Derby schools are preparing for another year of creating connections for students through the Student 2 Student (S2S) program at the high school and middle schools.
The program is associated with the Military Child Education Coalition and is designed to create a positive environment and to ease the transition of both new military students and new civilian students into a new school. Established in 2004, the program has gained a nationwide presence with many new schools participating each year.
According to Shelby Kraus, director of the DHS program, the high school welcomes about 300 new students per year. The main goal at the high school is to greet all new students and try to lessen the stress of being in a new school, helping all students to have a chance to find academic excellence and leadership opportunities.
Studies show that a student of an active military family can move up to nine times in their school years. With a primary focus on military families, the program serves an important role in getting students plugged into extracurricular activities, student events, and a social group.
The program in Derby focuses on minimizing the stresses and social pressures that can be difficult for a teenage student to work through alone.
New students visit the S2S Homeroom at DHS on the first day of class. There are meet-and-greet events, and the homeroom serves as a liaison to allow students full access to knowing what is going on with athletic tryouts, club meetings, and other events of interest. The S2S team also encourages community involvement outside of the school setting.
At the end of the 2018-19 school year, there were about 15 active members in the high school program. Both Derby Middle School locations have a program as well.
For more information, visit https://www.militarychild.org/programs/student-2-student or contact Shelby Kraus at Derby High School.