by Samantha C '14

Curriculum Night 2012

IMG_1064Earlier this year on November 5th, BSGE held Curriculum Night, a night when BSGE parents were able to meet teachers. From 6:30 to 8:30pm, parents of BSGE students walked around the school and “attended” classes according to their child’s schedule. Each class was about 9 minutes long and the parents had 4 minutes to get from class to class. In each classroom, the parents got to meet the teachers of each of the subjects that their child took. As stated clearly on the flyers and on the BSGE website, this was not a night for one-on-one talks about specific students and their performance in their classes. Instead, the parents were introduced to the courses, the structure and the expectations of the classes. Some teachers handed out course outlines, materials and binder information, and syllabi, while some handed out tips and helpful information for the success of the students. At some point during the night, each “grade” had 2 periods for time in the cafeteria. This time was devoted for socializing, getting refreshments, and talking to students and alumni of BSGE. There, parents talked to other parents – some networked themselves and became familiar with the parents of their kids’ friends, talked to current BSGE students about what BSGE is like currently, and spoke to BSGE alumni about what they learned from being at BSGE – what their entire experience was like. These alumni were graduates from as far back as the 2000s. They were Tatiana and Daniela Lam, Daniela and Marcelo Triana, Ana Maria Pamela Reyes, and Erick Gonzalez.This event used to take place at BSGE frequently but stopped one year due to the event not being planned on time. This year, teachers and staff members decided that restarting Curriculum Night would be useful. In a previous year, a night was devoted for Meet The Teacher, during which the parents of new 7th graders and transfer-9th graders could meet teachers. However, according to Mr. Mehan, the organizers of Curriculum Night (the PTA, Ms. McCabe, Ms. You, and himself) found that all parents should be able to familiarize themselves with the teachers of their children. Also, Curriculum Night was planned early enough in the year that teachers would know the students well enough but not too late that there was still time for parents to tell their children what teachers expect of them.Student Ambassadors — chosen students to represent our school — worked throughout the school to help out during Curriculum Night. Many stayed in the cafeteria to talk with parents during their “cafeteria time,” while a few were on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors to guide parents if they got lost. Ambassadors working behind the sign-in table noticed that class schedules did not match the actual schedules of their streams. Mr. Mehan, who helped to organize the schedules, noted that this was because the organizers had to tweak the schedules according to the teachers who were able to attend Curriculum Night. For example, two math teachers were not able to attend so different math teachers of the same grade “taught” the parents of the absent teacher’s students.
IMG_1013IMG_1027Mainly positive feedback was heard from parents, including the fact that they were given time to rest from classes, to eat, and to socialize during cafeteria time. Also during this time, raffle tickets were being sold to help raise money for the school and to potentially hire a new librarian. According to Karen Chu, treasurer of the BSGEPTA, 1500 dollars were raised during Curriculum Night. Another positive about the night was that there were over 150 students who had a family member attend Curriculum Night. That’s over 33% and Mr. Mehan regards this as a huge success considering, just the week before, Hurricane/Post-Tropical Storm Sandy hit New York.

Next year, the staff definitely hopes to host Curriculum Night again, possibly addressing the one small suggestion that a parent made during this year’s – to add networking signs and designated cafeteria tables for each grade so parents could more easily meet and connect with each other.

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