Hundreds of parents attended Hillview Middle School's Open House Night Thursday, highlighting the high parent participation rate in the school district and general curiosity about the new campus.
This was the first Open House Night in the new education space.
So many parents attended that school administrators had to move the event outdoors into the school's new Quad to accomodate all of them.
The event began with new Principal Erik "Mr. B" Burmeister animatedly greeting parents. During the evening's opening remarks, Burmeister said that the new facilities were not just new spaces in which students would be learning; the new campus is an opportunity to foster new leadership skills and address the needs of the whole child.
"We are perfectly positioned to set the bar for what 21st century schools will be," Burmeister said. "We are standing on the frontier of possibility," he added, visually ecstatic about what the future holds this school year.
He laid out the school's main goals and then broke it down in "real talk."
The goals included increasing communication among teachers and parents, evolving teaching in an environment that has advanced technology, modifying the bell schedule to suit everyone's needs, and being flexible about creative approaches to learning.
One of the school's notable objectives is to harness the energy around it to achieve measurable goals. The new school is equipped with solar panels that could enable it to address most of the school's future energy needs. This would lower operating costs for the school, a fact which might make some people's lives easier.
Clint Chao, co president of the presented the school's financial state to parents that night, and asked them to continue contributing to The Foundation, which gave $3.5 million to the school district's $33 million budget last school year.
"Funding from the state continues to go down," Chao said. "We can't do anything about that; we can come together as a community to bridge that gap," he said.
Seventy-four precent of parents with kids in the school district donated money to The Foundatinon last academic year. Shortly after he spoke, the bell rang, indicating to parents that it was time to explore their child's educational experience. Parents explored classrooms and talked to teachers about what their kids would be doing this school year.
Take a look at the photos to see what the event was like.
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