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Several Elementary Open House Nights Go Virtual

On Wednesday, September 2, several CHCCS elementary schools held virtual Open House events. Here’s a round up of some of the sessions from Morris Grove Elementary School (MGES), Mary Scroggs Elementary School (MSES) and Carrboro Elementary School (CES).

MGES Kindergarten teacher, Adam Glasser, opened their shared session with an exuberant greeting, “Welcome to the first ever virtual kindergarten Open House. You’re part of history now.” As yet one more re-invention for the district’s K-5 teachers and administrators to undertake, the virtual events required imagination and energy, and families who attended received a wide-ranging overview of each grade level’s year ahead.

The kindergarten team at MGES, Toni DeMarco, Molly Kearns and Glasser, hosted back-to-back sessions at 6:00 and 7:00. After introducing themselves, and discussing school and classroom expectations, they reviewed the academic standards for kindergarten, as well as a host of social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies used in their classrooms. The Second Step program provides ongoing instruction in social skills and concepts, and viewers met the puppets, Impulsive Puppy, Slowdown Snail and Be Calm Bunny.

Scroggs Open House At MSES, the 5th grade team of Jasmine Johnson, Cynthia Greenert and James Nohe, provided a colorful and compelling introduction to Scroggwarts, the “house system” used in the upper grades that creates structure and entertainment to much of each school day. The overview included details about Positive Behavior principles, as well as restorative practices used in classrooms. The Scroggswarts approach to learning incorporates collaborative projects, room transformations, historical rap battles, and intentional movement into teaching the NC fifth grade standards.

MSES Third Grade Teacher, Hannah Stang said, “I think that overall the virtual format was successful, especially because we recorded our presentation and then could share it with families who weren't able to make it. In the past, we shared the presentation in PDF format via email but the parents aren't able to hear what the teachers talk about on each slide.”

CES Open House At CES, sessions were offered in both English and Spanish, for traditional and dual-language classrooms. One addition to their slate of Open House sessions were eight parent education mini-workshops, led by Student Support and resource teachers. Those workshops ranged from “Teaching Self-Regulation” to a Library Open House and overviews of Enrichment and Gifted services, as well as a session for English Language Learners.

Amy Singer, CES School Counselor, led a well-attended workshop on “Creating (and Sustaining!) a Home Learning Environment. She offered a series of simple strategies for families to support more successful remote learning. “Our school knows how stressful this time is for families trying to support their students at home,” Singer said. “I hope families feel they can reach out to school counselors and other support staff for help and ideas.”

“The parent ed sessions were new this year,” said Jennifer Halsey, CES Principal. “We have been trying to really support our parents and view them as co-teachers during this time of distance learning.  We want to help them set up a successful home learning environment and give them all the tools possible to make that happen. We surveyed our parents to find out what their needs were and used that information to provide sessions on different topics. We will continue to offer parent ed sessions based on those survey results throughout the school year. This is a challenging time and we want to support our families in every way possible.”