The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Upper school hosts Parents Back-to-School day

Celine Wang ’26
Upper school parents take self-serve refreshments provided by the school.

Upper school parents gathered for Back-to-School Day at the Upper School on Sept. 23. Parents visited their children’s classrooms for 15-minute intervals, meeting with teachers and discussing class curriculums. The school provided refreshments for the parents and the jazz band performed during reception.

Head of Upper School Beth Slattery said the intent of the event was for parents to get to know their children’s classes and teachers.

“The purpose of the day is because we’re so big and it’s hard to actually do [something like] parent-teacher conferences where every parent gets to talk to every teacher,” Slattery said. “This is a day [that allows] parents to learn a little bit about the structure of the class, get to know the teacher a little bit and start to open lines of communication. This year it’s not wildly different, but we made the sessions a little bit longer to allow for parent questions [and] make sure there’s a deeper connection between parents and faculty, which is something that we’ve been working on.”

Slattery said the most enjoyable part of the day was parents experiencing the learning environment and community the school supports.

“It’s a day when everybody feels pretty good about the school and about teachers and about their child,” Slattery said. “It’s not associated with grades. It’s not fraught with anxiety. It’s just, wow, this incredible education that our kids are getting to experience feels good for everybody and brings people together. It’s one of the few times when the whole Upper School, at least the whole adult community, is together.”

Student Ambassadors guided parents to their classes throughout the duration of the event. Eva Goldrich ’25 said seeing the parents go through the experience was memorable.

“Being able to see parents get together in their child’s classes and meet their teachers, especially seeing them make comments about the stairs is really fun,” Goldrich said. “Just seeing them with the experience and what we do every day here at Harvard-Westlake is really special.”

Lauren Fonda (Imogen Ramlie ’26) said she appreciates the event because it allows her to see how teachers build relationships with students.

“I think Back-to-School [Day] is really amazing because I get to see not only the classroom, but teachers,” Fonda said. “I love how the teachers go out and beyond informing us of their personal life and their personal interests. The teachers are not just saying it, but they really want you to reach out and that helps a lot. I saw a huge improvement in my daughter through that.”

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