Another color has joined the usual Commodore Blue that decks the halls of Perry Traditional Academy in Observatory Hill — the orange of the Oliver Bears.
With the impending merger of the two Northside high schools, staff, faculty and administration at Oliver and Perry are working towards making the transition as smooth as possible.
Tuesday afternoon, the 75 freshmen from Oliver High School who toured Perry were greeted by blue and orange decorations in the hallways and the slogan “The Bears are in the Big Blue House,” which was created by Perry’s student welcoming committee.
“I think we’re really going to have a seamless transition,” said Nina Sacco, principal of Perry. “We’re working so hard to create an environment where all students feel safe and welcome.”
Perry has been working with Oliver students by providing tours of the building, creating a paper unity chain, introducing kids to new activities that Oliver doesn’t offer, planning a mural and introducing Oliver students to their new Perry classmates.
“A lot of the kids know each other,” said Sacco who said they would stop and say hello to each other in the hallways.
She also noted that most Perry students live in the Northside in the same neighborhoods as Oliver students, which will help with the transition.
Even when students didn’t know each other directly, many know each other’s neighbors or cousins, so “connections were being made,” said Sacco.
Sacco said the main concern of Oliver students is which teachers will come with them to the new high school, as it is still unknown.
In addition to student activities, Perry will also host a series of parents meetings to address any questions or concerns about the merger.
Looking forward SACCO said that the largest challenges she foresees is going from having 650 kids in the building to close to 1,000 next year.
As well as more parent meetings and school tours, Oliver and Perry will also have combined field trips and other activities this year before the transition.
On March 7, Perry will host a basketball game between Oliver and Perry teachers and members of the Pittsburgh Steelers to raise money for the merger activities.