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“Parent Night” . . . Should I Go?

04/16/2012 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Your Child's Ages & Stages, Special Topics

How many of you have received a flyer or an email inviting you to attend a “Parent Night” at your student’s school and wondered, “What is this about? . . . Do I really need to go?”  Well, we are here to tell you, “Yes! . . . Go if you can!”

What exactly are these “Parent Nights” and why are they necessary?  If your son or daughter is making a change from elementary to middle school, or from middle school to high school this fall, these meetings can be immensely informative for you and your student.  Opportunities that may be included in the evening’s activities include:

  1. Building Tours – Whether it’s a formal “tour” or not, simply entering the facility, and perhaps receiving a map, will help acquaint new parents and students to the locations you’ll need to become familiar with in the coming year.  Just an opportunity to visual their/your future surroundings can help ease the transition into a new environment.
  2. Meet the Administration/Staff – Some schools will have a scheduled “orientation” presentation lead by the school Principal where he/she welcomes you and provides a brief overview of the school, its programs and its staff.  Others may simply have staff members present and available to answer questions.  Either way, it is an opportunity to meet them and to see how they work together.
  3. Purchase School T-shirts, Stickers, etc. – Especially at the high school level, schools often have their own “stores” where “Spirit Wear” can be purchased to include “Class of 20XX” clothing/items, etc.
  4. Learn About Extra-Curricular Opportunities (Competitive and Intramural Sports, Clubs, etc.) – The school may have tables/displays set up in a designated area where parents and incoming students can get information or meet and ask questions of current club/activity members/sponsors.
  5. School Calendar Information – A kind of “heads-up” regarding things that will be scheduled throughout your student’s upcoming year of school.  Often a special orientation will be held in the fall just before the new school year starts where students receive their schedules and locker assignments – be sure to note if they offer this!
  6. Curriculum/Scheduling Information- They may review what the school’s core curriculum requirements are and how to best manage them over your student’s upcoming years at that particular school.

Attending events like these can go a long way in alleviating the stress that sometimes accompanies change, so it is wise to make room in your schedule to attend them when you can!

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