Cam High’s Back To School Night: Quarter Two

Due to circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, school has been online. Despite this hurdle, Cam High’s staff has continued to participate in the annual back to school night tradition. Mr. Matthew La Belle, Cam High’s principal, gave us insight on the process of getting a virtual back to school night to happen and parents’ overall opinion on this school year’s back to school nights.

“Using the google meet was actually quite easy. We had to send the information out quite a few times to make sure all of the parents knew how to join (and use their student’s login information), ” La Belle said. “The teachers did a great job adapting to this new concept and we had numerous compliments letting us know that this was a much better option for back to school night. Most of the parents let us know that it was easier because they did not have to find parking and run from class to class in between periods. They have actually asked that we continue this process in the future even when we come back from COVID restrictions,” said La Belle.

December 7th was this year’s second back to school night. Virtual meetings have been heavily integrated into the daily lives of Cam High students, and now, even parents are getting in on this new normal by participating in virtual back to school meets. In order to join a virtual meet, parents had to login through their child’s student email. They would then go to the google meets website and enter the class code that could be found at the end of a teachers name. This process is very different from that of previous years, but according to Ms. Connie Su, a chemistry teacher at Cam High, it is a great way for parents to stay informed and updated, while simultaneously being safe. 

“It is not difficult to adjust to, it was actually much easier–we do not have to fight for parking, and presentation-wise, it is very similar to before. Back to school night is really about introducing parents to the class and what we do, we also give them our contact information,” said Su.

The main goal of back to school nights has always been to keep parents informed about the students’ progress within their classes, while also having the opportunity for teachers to answer any questions parents might have. Teachers inform the parents on what the class is about and requirements for passing the class, and they are then advised on how to keep in contact with teachers.

During the first back to school night, parents heard from the first half of their child’s or children’s teachers(first and third quarter teachers), while during this back to school night, they heard from the other half of the teachers(second and fourth quarter teachers).

“It was my first back to school night as a teacher,” said Ms. Katherine Eakin, a chemistry student teacher at Cam High. “I think it is really good, it is very quick and efficient. Parents can pop in and out, it is very convenient. I do wish it was more personal to connect with parents. Overall, the system is pretty good. It is a wonderful way to keep them updated, and technology is very efficient. The parents also get to experience how students are learning and teachers are teaching,” said Eakin. 

The process of this year’s back to school night virtually opens up the doors for those parents that might not be comfortable with school in person. It is also a way for parents to see how their children have adjusted to distance learning while also getting a taste of the experience themselves.