Freshman Back-To-School Night, a “Refreshing” Experience

Freshmen parents meet teachers and learn about the middle-to-high school transition during Freshmen BTSN with the help of guidance counselors, SGA and faculty.

Freshmen Back-to-School night gives parents a chance to observe what their children do in school on a daily basis.

Freshmen Back-to-School night gives parents a chance to observe what their children do in school on a daily basis.

It’s 6 PM after an eventful Wednesday at school, and parents begin to filter through the hall of Springbank, heading towards Kogelman Auditorium. The first part of Freshmen Back to School Night 2015 is about to begin. A three-and-a-half hour open house for parents to meet their children’s teachers, BTS Night started off with a one-hour information section on the transition from middle to high school followed by a few hours for parents follow their child’s schedule and meet all of their teachers.

In the information session for parents, which was presented by Kevin McMahon, Director of Student Services along with the West Potomac school counselors, stressed the importance of time management for new students, as well as keeping grades up in high school.

The counselors also discussed SIS (also known as ParentVue), the new gradebook system for Fairfax County Public Schools which allows parents to view their child’s grades, attendance records, and other important information at any point of time instead of the old system of waiting for bi-weekly emailed grades.

Finally, counselors explained to parents the new sub-school system in place this year for students who are late to their classes, telling parents, “… students who are on time won’t be disturbed by late classmates” and “…counselors will become familiar with students who are commonly late.”

After the information session, parents were encouraged to follow their child’s class schedule and meet their teachers, who presented information on their courses.

“The nicest thing about BTS Night was being able to get to know the teachers a little better,” said Rene Minvielle, parent of freshman Maddy Minvielle. “[My husband and I] liked hearing about the material they will be covering in each class during the year.”

In Bridget Dwyer’s sixth and seventh period Photography 1 classes, parents of freshmen students looked eagerly and excitedly over their child’s sketchbooks and toured the darkroom. Presentations in Springbank classes covered future assignments and the importance of art in life and in future careers.

In Kristinia Nosal’s Computer Graphics class, examples of “computer graphics in real life” by former students were shown to the interested parents who were told of the assignments students were working on- making logos and designing class t-shirts.

Meanwhile in the Quander building, Shanette Yao’s Spanish 2 class went over the topics of new vocabulary and what is expected of students to learn throughout the year.

“[I like BTS Night because] it gives my parents the opportunity to meet my teachers so they understand who I am talking about at home,” said freshman Ripley Vaughan. 

Overall, parents were excited to get to know the school and West Potomac is excited to introduce a new generation of Wolverines!