Returning parents and students might have noticed something different about open house this year. With the new 6:00 p.m. starting time and removal of bell ringing every 10-20 minutes signaling to move to the next class, parents and teachers felt less stressed. “We did away with the bells because it gives the parents more flexibility and we started earlier so that we could end earlier,” said vice principal Kevin Dias, when asked about the change.
Open house is a chance for parents to meet with teachers and get a glimpse into their children’s learning day. Frankie Gaspar, father of junior William Gaspar, said he wanted to know his son’s teachers: “I came to establish a rapport with my son’s teachers,” he said. Robyn Carr, mother of senior Scottie Carr, wanted to “put names to faces for teachers who invest in her son’s future [and are] important in her son’s life.” Other parents came to get an overview of classroom expectations, both for academics and classroom discipline.
The parents’ views on the set up were mixed. Since some teachers met parents in the cafeteria, while others met them in their classrooms, parents had to race between the different classrooms and the cafeteria to meet the teachers. One parent preferred having all teachers stationed in the cafeteria. “It would be more convenient [if] everyone would all be at the same place,” said Celise Nakakura, mother of junior Noelle Nakakura. However, she also acknowledged that “having some teachers in classrooms is a good idea because then the cafeteria wouldn’t get too crowded.” Another parent preferred meeting teachers in the classroom. “I would like to meet teachers in the classroom so that I can see what the setting is like for where my child is learning,” said Dr. Robert Spear, father of junior Krystal Spear.
Overall, the faculty’s views on Open House were positive. Physical Education teacher Alex Miguel said, “Open house is great because… it is a good way to learn about each individual child as well as a good way to remember kids names.” Miguel liked the idea that open house was left up to the individual teacher’s preference. “I prefered being in the cafeteria because it allowed me to see most of my students’ parents. My class is far away from the cafeteria, so many parents would probably not want to make the walk to my class. I appreciate being able to be in the cafeteria where it is easier for parents to see me.”
Likewise, junior counselor Stephanie Takashima said, “Open house is great as it allows parents to meet teachers as well as faculty members.” In regards to faculty set up, Takashima felt having teachers meet with parents in their classrooms or the cafeteria worked either way. “It’s a good thing that teachers are divided into cafeteria and classroom. By being in the cafeteria, many parents could meet the teachers all in one place,” she said. “But at the same time, teachers being in classrooms allow the cafeteria to not be crowded and allow parents to see the learning environment.”
Although views on open house were mostly positive, the turnout was lower than expected, with only 250 parents. However, Takahara-Dias explained why turnout was low, “Parents already make the effort to try and contact teachers on their own,” said Takahara-Dias. “New tools such as Infinite Campus and faculty email make it easier for parents to contact teachers and get to know them without the process of meeting them face-to-face.”
Ultimately, open house accomplished its mission of bringing parents and teachers together. As Takahara-Dias summed it up, “Open house was a fabulous [experience] because faculty, parents, teachers, and students were able to come together and become a family by establishing better relationships with one another.”