A New Parent Night

   West Middle School is a special place. We are working hard at making our new vision statement, ‘West Middle School will prepare globally competitive students for lifelong learning’, a reality that is evident to all of our stakeholders.

   Last week we had our first curriculum night of the year. From school’s beginning, we  have been planning events that will draw our parents and community members into our school. We want to entice our stakeholders into our school with the things that make West Middle unique and great!

   As a creative beginning to the evening, we gave our parents a sample of our new video streaming equipment. With the help of my instructional facilitator and assistant principal [@atofflemeyerwms] I was able to broadcast from a nearby site into the meeting. I described some of our early learning and training opportunities. Some of our students have participated in discussions across the state and nation and how our teachers participated in a pd session with personnel from NASA. My goal was to make parents see that we are equipping and planning 21st century learning opportunities for our school. During this portion, our second-to-none spanish teacher, @schavez12, also provided translation for any spanish speaking parents.

   Through our school improvement team, we devised a creative way to showcase some of the great, student-centered work our teachers have been developing our first nine weeks of school. Our instructional facilitator coined the term ‘Museum Walk’. Our teachers set up stations/displays for our visitors to enjoy. Parents and community members benefited from our teachers descriptive talks, presentations and demonstrations. Some of the things our parents were able to see included digital recordings of our chorus performance, an interactive math project with our TI Navigators and some papers and research projects our students have completed. Our parents thoroughly enjoyed this.

   I’d like to thank the staff for their hard work and creativity in developing our showcase activities and leading talks with parents. This evening was a great success because of their buy in. I’d like to give a special thanks to Mr Smith, our instructional facilitator [and tech lead], and Ms Tofflemeyer, our assistant principal – having an administrative team that plans well together and really ‘sees’ the big picture for ventures like this make a difference. Most of my chats and discussions this year center around creating a unified vision and making efforts to get the staff to buy in – that night was a great showcase of that happening.

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