Are you a parent looking for a new school for your child? Are you a student interested in attending a new school and looking for information? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, it seems like an open house is in your future.
Often time schools will host open houses for prospective students. This will provide them with an opportunity to do things like take tours and even meet the staff. The purpose of open houses can also vary depending on the type of school you are looking into.
However, you no longer have to guess what goes on at an open house; we are here to provide just that and more. You’ll not only learn the benefits of hope houses in schools but how they may vary by grade level. All you have to do is keep reading for the more valuable info.
What is a School Open House?
Before we can get into how open houses may be beneficial, it is essential to know what they are. Open houses are events held for students and parents during the beginning of the school year to get students acclimated to the school, the teachers, and often their surroundings. You can expect these events to take place before the school year begins or right when it first starts.
Depending on your child’s school, there will likely be light refreshments and a host of planned activities. This is often known as an open house or, in some cases, “back to school night.” These open houses will not only take place for elementary school kids but the post-secondary school as well.
There can also be open houses that are specific to the type of school you have. Several magnet schools will offer open houses for prospective students to get students interested in the school. During this time, you will likely not follow the set schedule of your child but instead roam the school freely with activities scattered throughout the school. Depending on how your school has structured the open house, you may need to pre-register before the event begins.
Open Houses in Elementary School
For more minor children, the beginning of the school year may be very different compared to high schools. Parents are most invested in ensuring that their children are comfortable and that their child is getting everything they need.
There are several common questions that a student may want to be answered. These questions can include the following:
- Are they adequately supported?
- Will the teacher be easy to work with?
- Are they inviting and good with children?
This event is not meant o be personalized to your student. That is where parent-teacher conferences come in. This event is more general about how the classroom is run and how the classroom systems operate.
Open Houses in Secondary School
High school open houses are likely a little different than elementary school. They allow parents to follow their students’ schedule or a similar schedule to what a student may follow. This will often include a building, a Q&A session, faculty meet and greet, and so much more.
What’s the Purpose of Open Houses in School?
If this is your first open house, you may be wondering why you need to attend. However, it is not to be looked at as a personalized session for you to talk explicitly about your child. Since the event is held so early in the year, the teacher will likely not have much to say about their performance.
There are several benefits of open houses in schools. Their primary purpose is so that you can get an idea of what your child’s day-to-day schedule looks like. Many small children are eager to take their parents around their school, while some older children will opt to skip the event altogether.
Meet the teachers and faculty
Open houses allow students to meet their child’s teachers and establish a relationship with them. Having the first conversation can make it easier to communicate down the line. You can also use this time to address any concerns you may have or want to make the teacher aware of.
If your student plans on joining any extracurricular activities or sports, this is where you will meet the coaches and any other faculty which will be helping your child. Take this time to ask any questions about teaching style and accommodations, as needed.
Learn about your child’s curriculum
One important thing that you will be able to take away from the open house is a knowledge of the curriculum that the school will cover. Depending on when the open house is held, students may already have their schedules made. If their schedules are made, parents will be able to follow the schedule of their child’s classes and visit each of the classrooms that their child will be working in.
Within these sessions, you will get a chance to ask questions about what information is covered in the course and find out how you can be a better support to your child at home. Some teachers may even offer outlines of the information to be covered in the course. All of this is needed information to help you help your child get through the school year.
Outside of learning about your child’s curriculum, this is also an excellent time for teachers to provide their expectations for students. Parents are able to hear what is expected of their child and the level of effort which may need to go into their work.
Suppose the school has already started and students have already begun their academics for the year. In that case, it may be helpful for teachers to get students to aid in the creation of classroom presentations to the parents or present some of the material they have already done.
Find out about important events and happenings
Another great thing about an open house is that it allows you to get information on events and happenings directly from the school rather than waiting on your child to bring home a flyer. Open houses will generally provide a school calendar and critical information for school-wide events that may be relevant to you in the future. This can include things like time off calendars.
Outside of information on events, parents will get a good sense of how the school behaves, the things that they value, and how they treat the students. The open house will also include any critical information that the school will need to communicate with parents.
Raise any concerns
An open house is a great place to raise any concerns you may have for the upcoming year and understand how the school addresses them. The onset of COVID changed the ways that schools operate. This is a great place to discuss how the school is keeping children safe and what they plan to do in the future.
Meet other students & parents
Lastly, an open house is a great place to meet other parents and students. This is your time to not only mingle with staff and faculty but meet other parents. If your child has friends and class with whom they may want to have play dates or outings in the future, this is a great place to meet parents and put a name with a face.
What Happens in Open House in School?
You’ve just received your letter regarding the open house, now what? Are you wondering what to expect and how you can prepare for the evening?
Before the invitations are sent for an open house, there will be an agreed-upon flow that the school will likely follow. The PTA or the school administrator chooses this flow. Many times, before the open house begins, there is likely a kickoff ceremony. This welcome ceremony is used to introduce students and teachers to key faculty members and provide an overview of what will probably happen during the course of the evening.
Suppose this is an open house for prospective students. In that case, this ceremony will be filled with information about why your child should attend the school, academic highlights, and other important information that will help you decide.
Generally, open houses will include an abundance of presentations during a more general session and booths for different organizations and clubs to provide information for teachers and students. These booths will explain the processes for membership and how parents can sign their children up. These booths may also reflect an abundance of after-school activities or programs for students to participate in. This can include things like bridge programs for high school students or carious extracurriculars.
Why is School Open House Important?
The open house continues to be essential for students of all ages. Though as students get older, the turnout may begin to wane, it is just as important for parents to align with their high school students as they do with their children.
For smaller children who are not as likely to be able to articulate how their schooling is going, an open house is highly crucial. It allows parents to get a personal connection to the teacher and see how the classroom is structured. It also allows them to gain an idea of the student-to-teacher ratio.
For high school students, parents typically are less involved. However, it is strongly encouraged for students to attend the open house and invite a parent as well. Parents are able to provide better support if they are aware of what is going on. Even if the student does not keep them up to date on a regular basis, they will have some idea as to what is going on and when.
Wrapping Things Up: What is Open House in School?
We hope we have answered the question you came for. There are several benefits of open houses in schools. They are a great way to bring awareness to what happens during the school year and the expectations that your child will be required to meet.
Open houses can serve a number of purposes; these can include getting students interested in the school in hopes that they will attend in the future, getting parents and teachers acclimated to one another, and even providing extensive information on extracurricular activities or events. Though some parents may only attend open houses for younger students, they can be just as beneficial for older students.
Older students may feel that bringing their parents to an open house is not needed; however, it keeps them abreast of anything happening that students may forget to tell them about. Parents can also handle any extracurricular fees or permissions that they need to give during this time. Regardless of why you choose to attend, we hope we have provided you the information you need and can see the purpose behind open houses.