Students in the incoming freshman at Half Moon Bay High School mingle in the courtyard with cheeseburgers and hotdogs after completing orientation day. Kyle Ludowitz

Yasmin and Daniela Castor have spent the summer camping, driving with their mom, Ariana Vidrio, over the hill to see the sun and putting in community service hours. On Aug. 8, they had a new summer adventure at freshman orientation at Half Moon Bay High School.

Students were able to go from table to table gathering information about different activities around the school, as well as buy their gym clothes and pick up their class schedules. The orientation ended with barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers for the students.

Vidrio and her daughters arrived at the first table. “Make any changes and sign at the bottom,” Vidrio was told as she looked over her children’ information. After each station, those staffing the table checked it off a yellow slip.

Karen Morris, a special education teacher at the school, and her daughter Elle Morris were also waiting in line.

“I’m mostly excited and not that nervous,” Elle Morris said. “It’s basically middle school 2.0.”

Vidrio stopped at the Grad Night table where a woman told her about an auction coming up to fundraise for the event. Vidrio reminisced on the times she had attending Grad Night as a student at Half Moon Bay High 20 years ago and was happy to write her name down to volunteer for set up.

“It’s always a little overwhelming when you start,” the woman said to Yasmin and Daniela Castor.

Karen Morris, who also attended Half Moon Bay High School, said being at the event was surreal, but she teased her daughter about how they could hang out at school.

“It’ll hit me when we go to school together,” Karen Morris said.

Yasmin Castor, who is thinking about joining the cross country team, eyed the next table that had spirit wear and bright orange shirts and black mesh shorts for physical education trying to decide whether she wanted the gray sweatpants. She might get them later.

The three young freshmen were all looking forward to getting their schedules, the last stop of registration.

“I’m excited about having classes with my friends,” Elle Morris who plans to take advanced placement classes said. “I didn’t have a lot with my friends in middle school.”

Daniela Castor got her schedule first and was already comparing schedules with a friend when Yasmin Castor walked up holding hers. Daniela Castor had two classes with her friend, and Yasmin Castor glanced back and forth between hers and Daniela’s schedules discovering the sisters also had two classes together.


Cabrillo Unified and La Honda Pescadero Unified School district schools will start on Aug. 15. Seventh and eighth grade orientation at Cunha Intermediate school will be Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for eighth graders and 1:45 to 4:00 p.m. for seventh graders. Cunha will also have a new bell schedule this year with an early release time at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday instead of late starts.

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