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Sept. 10, 2008

Back-to-School Night opens communication with parents

by Ya Zhou, Online Connections Editor & Online Copy Editor
Welcomed by a multitude of balloons, voices and multicolored decorations, parents entered Blair for another successful Back-to-School Night yesterday from 7 - 9:30 p.m. Usual parking delays made some parents late, but Back-to-School Night began and ended on time. The two-and-a-half hour information session incorporated not only the highlights of Back-to-School Nights past, but also new technologies and activities as teachers and administrators unveiled the new school year.

Parents were greeted by two rows of informational tables lining the halls of Blair Boulevard. Many groups, including after-school clubs, each of the five academies, the Communication Arts Program (CAP), the Magnet program, various fundraising teams and representatives of the administration displayed their wealth of flyers and information. According to assistant principal Myriam Rogers, parents appreciated the booths last year. "They were very pleased with what was going on," Rogers said. During this time, pizza and snacks were sold and babysitting services were offered.

Before parents were herded to advisory at 7 p.m., they listened to a number of musical selections from the Blazer Choir led by director Paul Newport and the Jazz Band, conducted by Michelle Roberts. The 15-minute block set aside for advisory was followed by 10-minute visits to each of the nine classes in a student's schedule - including two 10-minute blocks set aside for both 5A and 5B - according to Magnet coordinator Dennis Heidler.

In advisory, parents were briefly introduced to the school with a video clip featuring the administrative staff and representatives of the SGA and the PTSA. Parents picked up their children's schedules and followed an odd day routine and then an even day routine, separated by the two lunch periods. During their child's lunch period, parents were free to explore Blair Boulevard. One new component to this year's program was a demonstration of the school's new Promethean boards, which was set up in the Media Center until the end of 5B.

As they have in years past, students played essential supportive roles to staff members and parents throughout the night. Blair's pom squad and cheerleading teams directed parents to classrooms. Students also manned information booths, inviting parents to explore the diversity of academic and extracurricular activities at Blair.

Overall, Rogers emphasized the importance of Back-to-School Night: communication. "It's important for us to communicate with parents, to have some face time with teachers - so it's extremely valuable," she said.



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