‘Meet and Greet’ at North Street School draws great turnout

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Fri., Sep. 16, 2011
North Street School Principal Jeff Ferreira serves pizza with Dustin, 5, at the 'Meet and Greet' event. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
North Street School Principal Jeff Ferreira serves pizza with Dustin, 5, at the 'Meet and Greet' event. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Takia Bilbo ate pizza and sat near the North Street School playground with her children enjoying the “Meet and Greet” held on Sept. 9, which allowed parents the opportunity to meet teachers and administrators in a more relaxed environment.

Bilbo said she likes to support the school and learn what she can do to help her children in school.

“It’s really nice to get to talk to my children’s teachers and ask questions,” said Bilbo. “I usually like to ask their recommendations for what I should be doing with them at home and what books my kids should be reading. I also get to meet other parents in my child’s classroom.”

Principal Jeff Ferreira said the “Meet and Greet” was started about four years ago and is a new substitute for the classic “Open House” sessions that have been held on nights just after the beginning of the school year. The “Meet and Greet” involves a little less preparation and is treated more like a social gathering for teachers, parents and students. Open House events previously involved decoration of the classrooms and art projects for students to display to parents visiting the classrooms.

The “Meet and Greet” takes place outside the school, where pizza and snacks are served. Children enjoy the playground with their classmates, while parents interact with teachers and other parents.

“It’s a wonderful event,” said second-grade teacher Joan Degen. “We get to put names to faces and make contact with parents. I usually will call and talk with them on the phone at the beginning of the year.  But this gives me a chance to make real contact and talk with them about my goals for the children and find out what their goals are.  When it comes to teaching children, the more information you exchange and share, the more successful you can make a child.”

Ferreira said the event has become a favorite way to kick off the school year. “We have been having incredible turnouts,” said Ferreira. “When we changed the Open House to a parent information night, we decided we still wanted to have a social gathering for parents. The PTO helped organize this for me, and it has been a great success.”

Ferreira said Open House night has been changed into a parent information night with the goals of explaining curriculum, assessment and instruction. Children are not included in the evening event.

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