Acalanes Hosts Annual Back to School Night

By Aya O’Neal, Staff Writer

// With their eyes glued to their schedules, parents swarmed campus’s hallways in search of their assigned classes at Back to School Night.

   Acalanes hosted its annual Back to School Night on the evening of Aug. 28, allowing parents and guardians to visit their students’ classrooms and build connections with their teachers. 

   This year, Back to School Night started with a parent reception, followed by a speech by Principal Eric Shawn, and then concluded with an opportunity for parents to learn about their students’ classes through individual teacher presentations. 

  “My parents found each teacher’s presentations insightful because it allowed them to have a better understanding of what is going to be covered in my classes and what they can do to support me,” sophomore Hayley Takeshima said.

   Back to School Night attendees thought that the event was a beneficial experience. Parents of students who just recently enrolled at Acalanes found it especially informative. 

   “[Back to School Night] was a wonderful experience because I got to get into the classrooms, which I haven’t had an opportunity to do that much because we just joined the school [during my children’s] junior year. And with COVID, there hasn’t been a lot of interactions with the teachers, so I really enjoyed getting to meet the teachers and hearing about the classes that our kids are taking,” Acalanes parent Tara Voogt said.

  However, not all parents were able to attend Back to School Night due to its new schedule. This year, the event began at 5 p.m., rather than at its previous 6 p.m. start time.

  “My parents regretted not attending Back to School Night, but weren’t able to go because they had to pick up my younger siblings from sports,” sophomore Ava Pfeifer said.

   Despite not reaching maximum attendance, the Acalanes administrative staff viewed the event as a success.

   “[Back to School Night] met, and if not, exceeded my hopes. I find Back to School Night to be such an energy-positive experience for our community to come together at their high school,” Shawn said. “It’s significant because our schools are a place where the parents of our community send their children for the majority of the day.”

   Parents find that the tradition becomes increasingly important as their children grow older. They appreciate the opportunity to get involved at Acalanes and meet other members of the community.

   “I think [Back to School Night] is just a nice window into what our kids are experiencing day in, day out, and in high school, you don’t have as much connection to the classroom since you typically don’t volunteer in the classroom. So as a parent who has an elementary school student and high school students, it’s a very different experience,” Voogt said.

   Overall, the Acalanes community appreciates the event as it offers parents a glimpse of their students’ lives and a time to build connections.

   “I get to see parents who are just excited to learn more about what their kids’ years are going to be like. We get to interact with them and build some relationships and get to see our community getting a chance to observe the school in a really positive way,” Shawn said.

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