Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Sept. 7, 2006

Blair welcomes parents at Back-to-School Night

by Elsi Wu, Online Sports Editor
Blair's annual Back-to-School Night was held today from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Parents and students attended the event that focused on improving communication between the school and home.

The festivities began at 6:30 p.m. as parents were arriving, including performances on Blair Boulevard by the cheerleaders, InToneNation and jazz band. Various booths introducing academies, clubs, the PTSA and original Blair publications, such as Silverlogue and Silver Chips, were also on Blair Boulevard. Two laptop hubs were set up in the hallway for parents to open personal BEN accounts.

After reporting to their child's first period, parents were given a schedule for the evening, modeled after a student's regular odd and even school days. Visits in each class were about ten minutes long, with the exception of an extended first period that also included a live BNC broadcast from Assistant Principal Linda Wanner, SGA President Eric Hysen and the PTSA. A notable absence was from Principal Philip Gainous, who, according to Hysen, "was dealing with personal issues." In order to assist parents to classes, the SGA provided representatives who made announcements over the PA system in both English and Spanish, and were stationed along hallways to help direct parents into classrooms.

Planning for this event, on the administrative to-do list for many weeks, mainly entailed organizing the faculty, security, guidance and SGA. "Organizing the event was a huge task," Wanner said, "guidance counselors have their part finalizing schedules, building services had to have the building ready by 6:00 [p.m.] and were rushing around with mops. They are also responsible for the clean-up after. Teachers had to deal with childcare since they have to be here and the administration was busy getting the faculty ready."

Assistant Principal Patricia Hurley also noted parking as a recurring administrative concern for events of this magnitude. Although parents were urged to arrive early for parking, both Colesville and University side parking lots filled quickly and were soon blocked off by security officials. Parking then spilled over to the Woodmoor shopping center and neighboring streets. "Security did a very good job of maximizing the parking in the parking lot, but there were three portables left in the parking lot which took away about 20-30 spaces," said Hurley. According to Hurley, the administration's usual requests for parking lot usage from St. Bernadette's School and Marvin Memorial Church from across the street were also denied this year, adding to the parking squeeze.

As a result of the careful planning, staff and parents agreed that the overall event went very smoothly. Social studies teacher Paul Irvin commented, "This year's turnout was surprisingly good, more than last year." Final attendance figures will not be released until mid-next week.

Wanner agreed that the event was very successful, saying "It really allowed parents to connect a name to a face, meet teachers and get an overview of the class, which is very important since everyone wants success for their child. We don't want any students falling through the cracks."

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  • 08 on September 8, 2006 at 7:55 AM
    chyyyeaaah elsi! good job!
  • bff on September 8, 2006 at 8:09 AM
    elsi is so freaking tiiight. i love her.
  • elsi lover 4 ever on September 8, 2006 at 1:15 PM
    NICE ARTICLE!!!!!!
  • cathy (View Email) on September 8, 2006 at 7:21 PM
    I just have one question about evening programs. my question is how do you do about the nigh school graduate? it is the same systme has the day School Students or it is different?
  • Dave Ottalini (View Email) on September 10, 2006 at 9:47 PM
    Thanks for an excellent article - but it should be noted that the PTSA also made a presentation on video first period in both English and Spanish welcoming parents, and talking about the many projects we are going to be involved with this year.

    From what I understand, Mr. Gainous's home in the Northern Neck (Virginia) sustained a considerable amount of damage from the recent storm, which is why he was unable to attend. It's the first time in the six years I've had a student at Blair that he was not able to attend.

    Dave Ottalini
    PTSA Co-President
  • Diana Vidutis (View Email) on September 11, 2006 at 12:00 AM
    To be fair to St. Bernadette's church across the street, I gave them a call several weeks ago. They said they would have been glad to accommodate overflow parking from Blair, but they had their own Back-To-School-Night that same night and could not accept more vehicles.
  • Blazer on September 15, 2006 at 8:54 AM
    Good job Elsi!!
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