TUPPER LAKE - Tupper Lake Middle/High School officials are looking to change up the way parents interact with teachers.
Historically, the school, like others in the area, has used open houses in the middle of October to introduce parents to their children's teachers, but school Principal and district Superintendent Seth McGowan said in a Tuesday phone interview that they have been largely ineffective. Parents would wait in long lines to spend a small amount of time to talk to teachers about their child's progress in school.
"That's not really a good use of parents' time - of anybody's time, really," McGowan said.
A group of teachers approached McGowan at the end of last school year asking if they could work on changing that.
"As we're ushering in a new era of community and parent and school partnerships, I think we have to look at all of those things," McGowan said.
The first step in that direction will be to hold a "Grand Reopening" on Sept. 6, the first day of school this year.
Parents will be invited to come to the high school gymnasium from 7:50 to 8:30 a.m., where teachers will be set up around the room at booths similar to a college fair, and parents can wander around the room and chat with them. McGowan told teachers to have their textbooks and copies of their first-day-of-school handouts like syllabi for parents to peruse.
After that, McGowan plans to give a brief welcome address to the crowd, then shepherd the seniors and their parents into the auditorium for what he calls "a more intimate conversation about my expectations for them this year."
Students and teachers will be in their homerooms by 8:50 a.m. to begin an abbreviated schedule for the day.
"This event is focused on parents meeting the teachers of their children within the backdrop of a festive and welcoming environment," McGowan told teachers in an email to teachers.
McGowan said Tuesday that he thinks it makes more sense for parents to meet teachers at the beginning of the school year rather than to wait for the end of the quarter.
He said he's working with the group of interested teachers on alternatives for the typical report card conference format, and they'll present ideas for how to revise that soon.