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Woodland Middle School's Lunch and Lockers Event helps ease students into the school year

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Before the beginning of each school year, new and returning students at Woodland Middle School attend a special orientation and kickoff event called Lunch and Lockers where students and their families meet teachers, find lockers, and receive a free lunch.


Woodland Middle School holds an annual Lunch and Lockers event where students and their families meet teachers, find lockers, and receive a free lunch 

Robin Uhlenkott, Social Studies, History and Leadership teacher, helps organize the annual event which has welcomed students for nearly a decade, helping students become familiar with how to open their lockers, find their classes, and manage materials in a locker instead of a desk. "A lot of students entering middle school were very anxious about all of the new responsibilities facing them such as using lockers and moving from class to class," explained Uhlenkott. "Lunch and Lockers was the brainchild of a committee of teachers developing ideas for parent and community involvement with the added benefit of settling students' worries before school starts."

Lunch and Lockers provides a laid-back atmosphere for students to get used to using lockers and finding their classrooms
Lunch and Lockers provides a laid-back atmosphere for students to get used to using lockers and finding their classrooms

Before the Lunch and Lockers event, teachers often had to spend the first few days of the school year helping students deal with their lockers. Now, the more laid-back atmosphere enables students to organize their lockers and familiarize themselves with the school's layout without the added stress of a ringing bell announcing the start of the next class. "You can feel the excitement and energy in the air throughout event making it such a nice way to jump-start a new year," said Uhlenkott. "Although some of the students may be anxious about the new school year, most of them are eager to get their new schedules, lockers, and meet their teachers."

The school's food services staff prepares a lunch of hot dogs for the attending students and their families
Woodland Middle School staff prepared and served a lunch of hot dogs for the attending students and their families

Woodland Middle School provides a free lunch of hot dogs to students and their families. "The biggest change to the Lunch and Lockers event has actually been the lunch itself," said Uhlenkott. "Up until last year, the teachers barbecued the hot dogs, but now the school's food services staff prepares lunch for the attendees."

Teachers greet students and their families in their classrooms while classified staff members answer questions and direct attendees
Teachers greet students and their families in their classrooms while classified staff members answer questions and direct attendees

Teachers greet students and their families in their classrooms throughout Lunch and Lockers while classified staff members are stationed throughout the school greeting and directing attendees to wherever they need to go. "I really like this event because it's laid back and provides a fun way to gently introduce students to the school," said Jake Hall, Principal of Woodland Middle School. "Plus, it's also so much fun to meet the kids and their families." 

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