Secondary campuses conduct first virtual Curriculum Night


Hillary Gorman

Coppell High School Aquatic Science teacher Davin Conrad speaks virtual Curriculum Night on Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. CISD secondary schools held live Zoom sessions for CHS while CHS9 teachers uploaded videos onto Schoology for parents to watch in their own time. Photo courtesy Hillary Gorman

Akhila Gunturu and Shivi Sharma

For Coppell High School assistant principal Zane Porter, Curriculum Night on Monday night was a lot quieter than the years past. Without families to direct and classrooms to walk into, Porter spent his time from 5:30- 7 p.m. visiting teachers’ Zoom meetings and watching them chat through Google Teams.  

“Part of the fun of Curriculum Night is meeting the parents of the students you serve, and not being able to interact with those families face-to-face was difficult,” Porter said. “But all feedback shared with me has been positive. Parents were excited to at least see the teachers that teach their kids every day. The teachers liked being able to have a voice; it’s nice to just get in front of parents and show their face and desire to create a classroom that’s welcoming and engaging.”

According to CHS parent Maggie Lucas, the first virtual Curriculum Night, with 10 minutes for each class period and a one minute break in between, proved a beneficial alternative to the in-person event. 

“I like being able to put a face to a name when my daughter [CHS senior Annie Lucas] talks about a teacher,” Lucas said. “I usually love walking the schedule and that is the one piece I really missed. They did the best job they could to turn a very in-person interaction with parents into a virtual situation. If I had a 10th grader coming in, I would want a little more time, but because I have a senior, I thought 10 minutes was fine for each class.”

Including a virtual element to the annual event provides the opportunity for parents who may have other commitments to engage with teachers and absorb information remotely in the future. 

“Sometimes you can’t physically be there because of work or travel, so I like the idea of a hybrid,” Lucas said. “Maybe have a Curriculum Night and then take the information and put it out there where if people missed the information, they’re able to see it afterwards.”

In order to accommodate families with students at multiple schools, CHS9 did not conduct live Zoom sessions Monday night. Instead, educators posted pre-recorded videos containing introductions and course overviews on their Schoology pages for families to view either during or after the event. Questions about content were asked in Google Forms sorted by department so that departments can compile a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will be shared with families. 

“It was sad that I didn’t get to meet parents that I normally get to meet,” CHS9 Principles of Arts, AV Tech and Communications teacher Jenna Grinnan said. “I think [keeping curriculum night virtual] should be an option for sure. But I would also like to meet parents because I know for me specifically, being able to meet the students and talk to them when they’re in eighth grade will make a difference as to who will take my class and who won’t.” 

The virtual experience allowed teachers to showcase their commitment to students and their subjects while embodying the campus’ motto for this school year.

“My favorite part was just the energy that the teachers showed,” Porter said. “We’ve taken on a motto of relentlessness this year, #CHSRelentless, because we want to be relentless in the way we treat our learners and our families and our community members and each other. As an administrator, just seeing the passion teachers bring to the table when they’re on Zoom after school is refreshing.”

Follow @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.