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Back to school night informs parents

As the first week of school sets in, parents were given an opportunity to experience their student’s schedule at the 35th annual Back to School Night, Aug. 20. At the event, teachers were provided time to explain what the year will look like and the chance to meet and connect with parents.

The night began with parents of high schoolers meeting in the FC gym, where Principal Todd Bennett introduced the school, teachers and itinerary for the evening. After being dismissed, the parents attended 15-minute class periods that simulated a school day.

During this time, parents were given an inside look on what their students will encounter throughout the year. Mary-Lou Savage, mother of senior Amy Savage and sixth grader Joshua Savage, enjoys interacting with the teachers.

“I like Back to School Night because I get to interact with the teachers and figure out what my child is going through and just to see what her [Amy] year is going to be looking like,” Savage said.

Along with her two children attending FC, at present, Savage also had three of her older children who graduated from the school. She says she appreciates the changes that have been made throughout the years.

“I’ve had four kids go through high school already,” Savage said. “Despite teachers coming and going, I think that throughout these recent years they’ve had more classes and, generally speaking, I’ve felt really good about all the new things that have come up [at the school].”

In addition to meeting teachers, David Carothers, father of Abby Carothers, ’14, is thankful for the chance to learn what the teachers’ personalities are like and each of their teaching styles.

“I like meeting the teachers and getting an idea of knowing their personalities and their teaching style, as well,” Carothers said. “They are all organized in different ways based on their teaching gifts, so it’s a good way to get to know them and kind of get a sense of how I can best help my daughter respond, as she tries to thrive in her classroom.”

While the parents are able to form better perspectives of their student’s high school experience, the night gives teachers the ability to inform parents on their expectations for the school year.

In comparing last year to this year, second-year history teacher Jordana Siebert says that the event deviated from last year, in that she was not concerned about what she would say or about introducing herself as much.

“This year it was a lot easier because I wasn’t as nervous about what I was going to say,” Siebert said. “Last year, I kind of introduced myself more and just gave my speal of where I was from, my credentials and what I was doing. This year I feel like the parents who are coming back have more of a feel for me, and so it was a lot of fun and I’m excited for the year.”

Due to being less nervous about the night, Siebert enjoyed briefing the parents about class rules and was encouraged by parental support.

“I think my favorite part was when the parents realized that I’m serious about being strict,” Siebert said. “When I was telling the parents about how I make the students put their cell phone on their desks, they were all excited and it was very affirming having the parents be in my corner and knowing that I will keep their kids accountable.”

Though some teachers focus more on class requirements and expectations, Spanish teacher Beatriz Foth finds pleasure not only in speaking with parents but also in describing how Spanish can play a part in their student’s future.

“I look forward to meeting the parents because most of the time you don’t get to see them during the school year and they can meet me,” Foth said. “Also, I get to explain the importance of learning Spanish, how they can use it outside the classroom and how they can use what they learn here also in the future, not just right now.”

Although Spanish I and II give students the basis to the language, Foth likes teaching Spanish III because she is able to prepare students to use their Spanish for different things such as going on mission trips and sharing their testimonies.

“The students in Spanish III will use everything they have learned and practice in a different way; making them think, speak and write more in the language. They also learn how to share their testimony and how God has changed their lives. If their churches go on mission trips, even just here in Fresno to a Spanish-speaking community, or if they go to Colombia, Dominican Republic or other countries, they can know how good it is to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the people in their own language.”

For more features, read the Aug. 15 article,
Day two: Students adjust to school routine, homework.

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