Back-to-School Night (BTSN) is an exciting event for parents and teachers. And, in this day and age, it can provoke undue anxiety as well. Over the years, I have spoken with many independent and public school parents about BTSN. When I have asked them what they hoped to get out of the evening, their answers have ranged from “I want to know what my child does every day” to “I want to understand my child’s curriculum and the teacher’s methodology” to “I just want to meet my child’s teachers and get to know them a little.”
At The Philadelphia School we believe that Back-to-School Night is an opportunity to meet a little of each of those expectations. We aim to outline some of the big picture curriculum and methodology children will experience, help parents get to know the core classroom and specialist teachers (as much as you can get to know anyone in one evening), and instill confidence in parents that we care deeply about the experience each and every child has each and every day.
Parents are important partners/co-contributors in the success of Back-to-School Night. Here are a few tips for making the most out of this year's experience.
We are so excited to launch a new component of the middle school program, Intensives. These electives are an opportunity for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in mixed-age groups to deeply explore an area of interest they might otherwise have limited or no exposure to. From ancient survival skills to computer coding to introduction to sculpture, these 10-week courses will meet twice each week for an hour at a time.
In a gymnasium packed with exited students and teachers, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone wanted to hear what the all-school theme for 2016-17 was going to be!
The Class of 2017 revealed the theme in a skit they wrote about a new student named Jumbalaya who needed to be prepared for entry into the TPS City Country Classroom. Equipped by fellow students with all he would need to survive and thrive – a map of Philadelphia, a book about Philadelphia history, a SEPTA pass, a water bottle, a pencil, some paper – Jumbalaya was ready!
"From Surviving to Thriving in the City, the Country, and the Classroom" will be our all-school thematic focus this year!