The Middle School Orientation Program (MSOP) is a way to help take the pressure and worry off of students when it comes to the switch from middle school life to high school life,” says Patrick Conroy, a junior at Torrey Pines High School.

MSOP is a program that teams up representatives from Torrey Pines High School, La Costa Canyon High School, Canyon Crest Academy and San Dieguito High School Academy to visit the five local middle schools and discuss the high school experience. One of the main objectives of the program is to inform middle school students about their high school selection options. “We go away from the idea that one high school is better than the others. We mention the differences between the schools, as well as the similarities, to get them thinking about which school might be the best fit for them,” says Kiersten Newquist, a junior at Torrey Pines.

The high school students emphasize that the choice should be about what is right for each individual student, regardless of where their friends are going. They also discuss the opportunities available at high school, such as sports, clubs and activities and urge the middle schoolers to get involved.

Patrick and Kiersten and their counterparts put on a PowerPoint presentation, wear school spirit gear and encourage the middle schoolers to ask questions. “We had a meeting with four students from CCA’s ASB: Jon Zhang, Blair Noble, Sarah Anderson and Sam Kang to discuss ideas and how we wanted to run the presentations. It has been fun to get to work with students from another ASB,” says Patrick.

According to Patrick and Kiersten, MSOP has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback since it began in the 2006-2007 school year. MSOP has support from the high school and middle school administrations, and the high school student presenters are eager to share with the soon-to-be freshman class. “The students who are involved either remember when MSOP came to their middle school or know that the decision process can be difficult and want to help as much as they can,” says Patrick.