Open House Welcomes the 2019-2020 School Year

Ayesha Middya, Reporter

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  • Elena Van Metre ’21 tells a parent where to go to get to her next class. Van Metre is the flight commander for incoming JROTC freshman.

  • The theatre booster club set up in the atrium to raise money. The booster clubs were hosted by parents of students.

  • Parents experience the confusion their children felt on their first day of school. Parents use their child’s schedule and a map so they can locate their classes.

  • Mr. Carl Bradley explains his curriculum to parents. The parents follow along and take notes on his presentation.

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Open House marked the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. On Sept. 11, parents of students attended to learn more about the classes their children are taking and meet their teachers. Each parent received a copy of their student’s schedule from their designated counselor. Parents visited each class in chronological order. Additionally, there were booths representing Westwood interest groups in the atrium that parents could visit during the event. 

During each class, the teacher had ten minutes for a presentation. Parents would then have five minute passing periods  to get to the next class. During presentations, teachers discussed their educational background, the curriculum for classes, expectations, and even advice for students to succeed. 

“Ten minutes isn’t a ton of time, but I feel like I can get through the presentation in time. There is just a lot to discuss in regards to our curriculum and the nature of an AP course,” AP Language and Composition teacher Ms. Courtney Hulsey said. 

Flex Time, a new addition to Westwood’s schedule, was widely discussed by both teachers and parents as they weighed the benefits of the extra time. 

“I understand some students cannot attend tutorials in the morning. With Flex, students have more flexibility to come in and ask questions. AP Calculus AB is a difficult class- it’s important for students to be able to understand the concepts fully,” Ms. Meiling Dang said. 

Some parents posed questions about whether students had enough time to effectively complete an assignment, receive help or take an assessment. 

“With about 40 minutes, I do think that students have adequate time to receive any help or extra time on an assignment. Of course, students should communicate with their teachers if Flex time is not enough and they would want to meet before or after school,” Pre-AP/IB English I and English II teacher Mrs. Dawn Radcliff said. 

The organization of hallways and classrooms can seem daunting to anyone unfamiliar with the layout. Parents had the opportunity to experience the daily paths of students and the obstacles they encounter in the crowded hallways. However, there were JROTC members present to assist any parents with directions to classrooms, so parents had help. Many students attended Open House with their parents. 

“I decided to show my mom where my classes were because on the first day of school, I was very nervous and I don’t want her to be nervous. I think finding your classroom without any help, especially if you’re new is so stressful, and people end up getting lost,” Diya Rajon ‘22 said. 

This year’s Open House was a great way for parents to meet their children’s teachers and understand how they can help their students throughout the year.