Ridgefield School District held its third annual Take Your Parent to School Day in January. Students at all area schools had the opportunity to bring their parents with them for a partial or full day of class. Parents were active participants in the classes, and for many of them, what they saw was very different than what they experienced as kids in school.
At South Ridge Elementary, Principal Jill Neyenhouse met with parents to explain how problem-solving and critical thinking are now interwoven into the elementary school curriculum. Parents worked together in groups to solve “alphabet equations” like There are 26 L in the A (26 Letters in the Alphabet) and “perplexers” (complex riddles).
In Sara Eastham’s second grade class at Union Ridge Elementary, students demonstrated how they made notes as they read books. They showed parents and grandparents books full of sticky notes, marking pages that had words they didn’t know, important plot points, and more. The process helps them read carefully and critically.
Ruby Wheelon shows her mother, Andrea, the book she is reading in Sara Eastham's class.
At View Ridge Middle School, David Jacobson’s history class brought parents and students into a “four corners discussion”. A statement is read about the topic they have been studying. Each corner of the room has a sign: Agree, Somewhat Agree, Disagree, or Somewhat Disagree. Everyone chooses a position, then an active discussion begins, with students engaging with others and defending their thoughts on the topic.
At every grade level, parents were excited to experience firsthand the classrooms where their children learn every day. Parent Heliodoro Garcia has one son in high school, one in elementary school, and one toddler. He was at South Ridge Elementary School with his middle son, Mateo. “With my older son, I used to come to school only to play soccer with kids in the field. Now it’s good to have a time to come to the school and have lunch with him, see his class.”
Heliodoro Garcia with son, Mateo, at South Ridge Elementary.
Parent and teacher Audrey Scott enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the event at View Ridge Middle School. “As a middle school parent and a kindergarten teacher in the Ridgefield School District, I have often wondered what the classroom environment is like at the middle school level,” she said. “I attended Mrs. Allen’s literacy class and thoroughly enjoyed the thought-provoking text, meaningful discussion and the overall warmth and thoughtfulness of her classroom.”
Participation in Take Your Parent to School Day was higher than expected; parents welcomed the opportunity to see students and teachers in action. While there is only one Take Your Parent to School Day this year, parents are always welcome as volunteers in the schools. Background checks are required, and forms can be obtained at the school office.