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With the full implementation of 2014 Consolidation Plan and the transition of Kenmore East High School and Kenmore West High School into Grade 8-12 buildings, the 2016-17 school year was a unique year for high school staff. They welcomed twice the number of students – two entire classes: the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, as well as the very first class of eighth graders at the high school.

The transition to high school is one of the most significant transitions students will experience, so it was especially important that the staff at Kenmore East and Kenmore West take extra steps to transition the incoming eighth and ninth graders. That's why both schools implemented the innovative Link Crew Program, a specially designed structure to welcome, orient and transition new students to high school and provide a mentoring framework to support them long after they arrive. That program continues to support eighth-grade students as they transition from middle school to high school.

Each year, new students work with dozens of 10th, 11th and 12th graders at both high schools who make up the Link Leaders. Link Leaders are students who take part in extensive training to support their younger classmates. Link Leaders welcome new students to the building, help guide them through activities during orientation, and provide ongoing support throughout the first year of their high school experience.