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Back to School Night showcases parents to classes, teachers

[/media-credit] Parents and teachers alike attended the annual 37th Back-to-School Night (BTSN) at 7 p.m., Aug. 18.

After students have finished their first week of school, with schedules set in stone, parents hustle and bustle through the halls. Parents and teachers alike attended the annual 37th Back-to-School Night (BTSN) at 7 p.m., Aug. 18.

Starting in the late evening, parents met in the FC gym welcomed by Superintendent Jeremy Brown and Dean of Students Amy Deffenbacher. With a quick introduction of the teachers, parents were off to their student’s classrooms.

Unlike the previous year, the junior high and high school BTSN were combined into one night. Elementary parents will meet for BTSN at 7 p.m., Aug. 19.

Looking over the night, first year BTSN host Brown, superintendent of the school, considers the night a success.

“The night’s been wonderful! Mrs. {Vicky} Belmont has been ringing the bells on time for us so that’s been a great help,” Brown said. “Parents have been happy, I’ve heard a lot of comments in the hallways. They’re excited to see many new staff here so that’s nice overall. It’s been a great night.”

For parents, it is a great opportunity to be in the same environment as their children. Mara Mueller, mother of Jayden Ventura, ’18, enjoys seeing what her child’s block schedule is and how they have incorporated it in the school system, this year.

“It’s pretty exciting, I think mostly because they switched to block schedule. I am young enough, that I actually had block schedule when I was in high school,” Mueller said. “I think it’s a better system and a better way of doing things. I’m really glad that they switched over to that.”

Parents were not the only newbies of the night. English teacher Kyle Dodson is one of the newest members to the school’s staff. Even though he has taught previously at Sanger High, he enjoyed last night’s atmosphere much more.

“It’s always important to talk with the parents not only cordially, but also exhibiting a strong presence in the classroom,” Dodson said. “I use to work full time there {Sanger High}, but I only got about 8 parents across all the classes I taught. The parents did not have as much as a concern or care about was was happening in the classroom.”

Art teacher Sharon Scharf has been teaching at the school for 26 years and still finds BTSN useful and informative.

“Being able to come each year might be the same old ordinary, but it is helpful to inform the parents about my class. It really helps them to know me a little bit more than anything else,” Scharf said. “I get to meet some of the parents that come so they can see what is happening in my class.”

Some teachers find it hard to explain to parents everything that the class will study during the year. Scharf takes a different perspective by getting to know the parents personally.

“Their is no way you can get all the information to them in ten minutes,” Scharf said. “But it’s just an introduction to let them see who is teaching their students for the year.”

In addition to meeting the teachers, David Jennings, father of Breanna Jennings, ’15, takes time to see the difference of this year, compared to last, with the new administration changes.

“With a new principle and superintendent the night went differently. The gym was even cooler,” Jennings said. “I think it was a little bit more upbeat.”

Jennings also reminisces about his daughter’s last year at school. Since she is a senior Jennings wants to make this year important for her.

“For me it’s bitter sweet. I am excited that it is her senior year, but then because of where shes going next year, she will be in Oregon,” Jennings said. “I’m going to have to enjoy this year and make the most of it. Hopefully she can too, but still it’s a little sad.”

As this is Brown’s first year as superintendent, his expectations and hopes for BTSN is that it builds relationships between the parents and staff.

“I really want to continue what has been going on before. Giving parents a flavor for what Fresno Christian offers their students, provides an opportunity to experience the amount of workload a lot of our students have with their classes,” Brown said. “It also helps build relationships between parents and the teachers so that they can put a face to the name right from the start.”

Check back later for an upcoming slideshow of Back to School Night.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @rynnking_.

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