Lovejoy’s Students Welcomed to Orientation

By Wenlock Nau

Orientation is a milestone in a high school student’s life, in which they get to know the school meet their classmates, make new friends, and form relationships that will last them throughout high school. Over the course of Tam history, freshmen have been welcomed to the school with this lively day of introduction.

Though the event has a spirit of inclusion, one particular group of students has missed out on the action in the past – Michael Lovejoy’s special day class, a program is for the most mentally handicapped students in the Tamalpais District.

This year things changed, as the class was included in orientation. Enrolled students have a range of disorders from Down Syndrome to severe autism. Their curriculum consists of activities such as math, hiking, reading the news, and yoga. Students each have individual learning plans, and their parents meet with Lovejoy to discuss what they would like from the program.

For the most part, Lovejoy’s students have been incorporated into the school community. They eat lunch in the student center and will graduate with the rest of the student body. Despite various forms of integration, this year was the first year they had been officially at orientation.

Senior Glyn Peterson, with help from junior Monica Bi, successfully advocated for Lovejoy’s special day class to be oriented as freshmen. Due to their efforts, non-freshman special day class students received their schedules with the rest of the student body on schedule pickup day. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to see the look on their faces as they went and got their schedules,” said Peterson.

Student reactions to Lovejoy’s students being at orientation were generally welcoming. “What’s wrong with them being there? I mean, they’re students, and all students should be treated equally,” said senior Nick Urban.

“It was cool to see them out there,” said sophomore Dave Peters. “It doesn’t really make a difference to me; they’re just regular students, like me.”