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HH’s First Open House

Open+House+Night
Matthew Salvatore
Open House Night

With the second semester being set in place, Hatboro-Horsham High School is getting ready to host their Back-to-School Night. But this year, the school is deciding to add a little spice and make this Back-to-School night special and more inclusive to families with more than one child.

 

At the beginning of a school year, parents come in and do Back-to-School Night. This event is usually more formal and made just for the parents to see how their children are doing in the new school year. When the second semester comes, the school does a community event that is more carefree. Although the event still has parents visiting their children’s new teachers, it allows them to also check out other courses their children can take in the future.

 

In past years, Hatboro Horsham High School usually hosted the Open House a little something like this: parents would walk around the school like their children would on a day-to-day basis, moving every 15 minutes to a new wing of the school just like how the periods work during an average school day. The teachers got to talk with every parent, and children that arrived, about expectations in the school year, activities, and courses in the future. But the downside of this strict schedule is that it favors families who have one child in high school. Parents who have multiple children in the school only got to meet one of their children’s teachers.

 

The world language teachers on floor 2, B-Wing

In other years, the school hosted Open Houses like a curriculum fair, like the Electives Walk-Around that happened during Lunch and Learn not too long ago. Teachers would have a booth, and everyone would be crammed into the gym. Families would walk around and see the courses their children could take. The downside of this very loose schedule is that families focused more on the upcoming courses and did not meet the teachers their children already had, and the gym was crowded.

 

These problems, among many others, caught the attention of our principal, Dr. Dennis M. Williams Jr., leading to the final decision to change things up for this year’s Open House.

Unlike most Open Houses in the past, the school hosted a community event that lived up to the name. This year, the event was a goldilocks mixture of past years schedules, getting rid of all the negatives and being able to keep the positive sides. This Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the school opened their doors and let families have a chance to visit all their children’s teachers instead of just following one child’s schedule.

 

This lets parents meet all of their children’s teachers, letting them take a look around the school and look at some of the amazing electives the school provides. Diane Manser, an English teacher at the school said, “…the looser structure could help to open more personal dialogue than me just sharing out a semester plan while they just sit and listen.” Other teachers, like Robert Zellman said, “Parents can now spend more time at staying in an area they want to focus more on for their children or skip a class altogether,” for example, if the student already had that teacher last year or in the first semester, they aren’t forced to meet the teacher again. Zellman continues, “It’s more of a flexibility for parents to kind of go where they want to go than being stuck with a schedule.”

 

EASTERN Center booth located at the lobby.

The night also allowed children to talk with representatives from the EASTERN Center and talk with their guidance counselors about possible courses they were interested in. The Open House date was perfectly timed to give children a few additional days afterward to think more about courses and electives before they closed up. It is a great opportunity to get a taste of what is in store at the school for both parents and students, and families should definitely swing by and experience this next year.

Many teachers were very excited about planning for the Open House and made signs, handouts, wonderful PowerPoints, and even brought decorations for the common areas!

 

The only big concern teachers had we’re as worded by Natalie Fetterman, “The directions were to meet your kid’s teachers and do the curriculum fair, like course offering… If someone has me as their kid’s teacher, they don’t know me. But then if they want to talk about their own child to me then I’m not going to be able to talk about other stuff to other people.”

 

But in the end, the Open House was a huge hit with many parents and freshmen. Walking around, every parent was engaged with different teachers and was able to meet all their children’s teachers and talk with a few to know more about the classes the school provides. Some parents got lost and need help finding their way around, but overall, the night itself was a success in getting this semester’s information across.

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About the Contributors
Madison Smith, Staff Reporter
What is a favorite hobby of yours: Drawing What do you look forward to working with The Hat Chat: Learn about upcoming events What college do you want to go to: Not sure What's an interesting fact about yourself: I work with horses and I know how to ride western. I also love anything horror related, you can catch me watching a Halloween movie on Christmas Eve.
Matthew Salvatore, Editor in Chief
Grade: Junior Favorite school subject: AP Gov Hobby: Guitar, gym, Track and Field What you enjoy/look forward to with The Hat Chat: I look forward to editing articles and helping everyone on the Hat-Chat become better writers. What College do you want to go to?: At the moment, Notre Dame Fun fact: I want to go into ROTC

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