Back-to-School Night 101

by Matt Eskin, Assistant Head of School

Back-to-School Night 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 this event. When I have asked them what they hoped to get out of Back-to-School Night, 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 that 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:

  • Engage with an open mind. If teachers ask you to try something hands-on, even if you’re nervous, make the most out of it and take a chance!
  • Back-to-School Night is designed to offer a broad overview. Questions should be about the general experience in the classroom. (Child-specific questions should be held for a different time, either via email or at a separately scheduled meeting.)
  • If you already have questions, please email them to your child's teacher ahead of time so he or she can address them in the presentation.

This year we have scheduled two Back-to-School Nights (parents only):

  • Wednesday, September 28 - Grades 4-8
  • Wednesday, October 5 - Preschool-3rd grade

Over the years, I have found Back-to-School Nights at TPS to be incredibly affirming. We have a gifted, professional cadre of teachers who simply love working with your children. All of us – faculty and administration – look forward to seeing you and sharing a glimpse of what I believe is a truly magical school experience.