Parents take a walk in students’ shoes at Curriculum Night

by Divya Kumar
News Editor

Regardless of whether a student is returning for their final senior year or entering as a timid freshman, Open House provides opportunities for those at all levels of Coppell High School to gain information and insight into the upcoming school year.

Teaming with students and parents alike, CHS was filled on Monday night, with people eager for their time to discuss with teachers, garner information on old and new clubs, or simply looking for another opportunity to ask any member of administration questions.

Students set up tables all along the main hallway advertising their clubs to students and parents. Photo by Arden Radford.

Open House was facilitated in both the large and small commons, the main hallway of the school and in individual teacher classrooms. The event provided an opportunity for parents to understand a bit more about what life for their student may be like, and for students to gain more insight into the possibilities available for them at the high school.

“Open House is always a really good opportunity to get to talk to the parents and tell them things that students may have left out,” IB English and Advanced Reading teacher Michael Vergien said. “I like connecting with both my students and their parents, and this event really helps facilitate that interaction.”

Similar to a curriculum night, the event allowed parents to walk through the schedule of their student. During each of these eight minute sessions, teachers discussed their plans for the upcoming school year and addressed any questions that parents may have had regarding the course.

However, this year’s event was rather different from all the other ones that the high school has hosted in the past. This school year has incorporated a series of new Academies and this event was the first opportunity for parents to talk to these teachers to understand the curriculum that it will encompass. These Academies are structured more around a certain subject and stray away from the typical lesson plans that freshman classes might encompass, making a Curriculum Night all the more useful to unaware parents.

To aid these new classes, new technology has also been incorporated into several classrooms as well. Smartboards, mounted projectors and netbooks have been provided to several teachers in order to incorporate technology into the classroom more efficiently. Last night’s events provided parents an opportunity to view this new technology and understand better how it may be incorporated.

Similarly, a tax rate increase election was held in the library during the night. The city plans to raise taxes that property holders have to pay in Coppell by $.13. This increase will most likely be given towards helping the school with their funds; if nothing changes, funds are set to be depleted by 2013. Promotion towards a voter election was advertised last night at the event, as parents were urged to stop by the library and drop in a vote during the passing periods.

Parents walk through the main halls to observe the club expos in between their class periods. Photo by Arden Radford.

In addition to this, the main hallway of the school was lined with tables, each advertising the numerous clubs and organizations that CHS promotes. Similar to a club expo, officers of the clubs advertised their specific organization to interested students and parents.

“It’s sometimes difficult for students to know about every club that the school has,” Interact Club President senior Adam Warner said. “Tonight was really helpful in spreading word about the club and gaining recruits to come join us.”

Due to the rush that this school year provides, with a homecoming game that is only three weeks away from the first day, an Open House event this early was beneficial to many.

“One of our main events is the Homecoming Parade cleanup,” Warner said. “And I know that lots of clubs want to recruit members for their floats. Having the Open House this soon was really helpful in aiding us achieve this, I think.”

Though parents were given their student’s schedule, with room numbers and teachers designated on them, the aid of the senior Red Jackets was often beneficial to them as well.

“Parents aren’t as used to the crowd of the hallways as we are,” Red Jacket senior Natalie Gale said. “Lots of times they would get stuck going the opposite direction of the flow of traffic, or just need help finding some obscure classroom – and that’s what we were there to do.”

Overall, the event appeared to flow smoothly as planned. The designated passing periods allowed parents and students enough time to browse the club expo tables and ask any teachers lingering questions they might have still had after the presentations. The success of such an event is sure to kick off the 2010-2011 school year to a great start.