Spring Open House offered opportunities for parents

Story by Rebecca Neumann
Video by Roshni Patel and Diana Abousaleh

Many parents and students took the opportunity to get in touch with teachers and administration this past Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Spring Open House.

Senior Patrick Foss is a Red Jacket and was in charge of guiding parents to their students’ classrooms and he noticed the difference in atmosphere compared to that of the Fall Open House.

“There’s not really much structure,” Foss said. “Everyone is just wandering from classroom to classroom. The event is basically just an opportunity for parents to meet the second semester teachers and learn about the curriculum. “

Tracey Fisher visited her son’s classes and learned about the new college counseling software, Naviance.

“It seems to be an interesting tool that the kids can use,” Fisher said. “The kids have already heard the presentation about it, but now it’s the parents’ turn.”

She also noticed the difference from the first Open House, which she attended in the Fall.

“We went to the curriculum night and it was very crowded,” Fisher said.  “Tonight, not so much. But I kind of like this, where there are opportunities to learn about different things in the school. I think it’s really important to have these kinds of events because high schools can be very mysterious to people, especially the parents. When you get to be older, you get to be more independent, which is good, but as parents we need to know what’s going on too so we can feel comfortable. I think this is great. I really appreciate that it’s not that crowded.”

English teacher Clara Caussey sat at a table to answered parents’ questions during the Open House. She thinks the event is a great chance for parents to get to come up to the school without feeling pressured.

“Most of the time when I talk to parents it’s in a formal parent conference,” Caussey said. “In this way, they get to come up and learn about stuff that’s positive. The atmosphere is a lot different [from the Fall Open House]. It’s really just about me talking at the parents, kind of like the first day of school, and this is more of a conversation between me and the parents.”

Junior Emily Hyslop came with her mom to the Open House because she wanted to make sure she learned about the curriculum.

“I wanted my mom to meet my teachers and get to know the curriculum that I’m working on this year especially in my AP classes,” Hyslop said. “I’ll be taking the AP test soon and my mom wanted to ask some questions about it. I think it’s very important to come [to an Open House] at least once during the year because if you’re unaware of your child’s curriculum, you can’t be on the same page. If your parent does know exactly what their child is working on during the year, it makes home life a lot easier.”

Assistant Principal Leanne Dorhout participated in the event and acknowledged the differences.

“The focus [for this Open House] is a little different,” she said. “This has a much more laid-back atmosphere. The school year has gone on and we want to give everyone an opportunity to just briefly touch base with teachers and see how the year is going.”

Dorhouts thinks it important to give opportunities to parents to spend time in specific areas they want to visit. Although only a fraction of the amount of parents came to this event, she considers it a success.

 “This spring turnout is just intended to be like it is,” Dorhout said. “We are excited that parents and teachers are thrilled to be here relaying information not just about the school year but also about what’s going on in the spring and the fun events we have planned.”