Beaufort News

County schools to open their doors to parents

Parents can try out classroom technology, meet their child's peers and watch teachers in action during the Beaufort County School District's "Bring Your Parents to School Day" this month.

Public schools are inviting parents into classrooms Jan. 24 to observe a typical school day.

"We're doing so many wonderful things at school on a daily basis, and we want parents to experience those with their child," said Adrienne Sutton, principal at Michael C. Riley Elementary in Bluffton. "It gives parents a new perspective on what their child's day is like and the academic rigor of the programs."

The event is part of the district's effort to increase outreach to students' homes and communities, said Margaret Rushton, the event's coordinator. She said parents can meet teachers in a setting that differs from the traditional parent-teacher conference, when parents are tied to a specific appointment and can't see student interaction.

Rushton said each school is planning its own version of the event. Parents should contact their child's school for details. Some schools are planning special activities or performances, while others are keeping the day more authentic.

Carmen Dillard, principal at Coosa Elementary School on Lady's Island, said she envisions parents sitting beside their children while they practice writing skills in the computer lab, participate in a math lesson or use technology such as interactive whiteboards.

"We're trying to keep the day as normal as possible so parents can see what their kids would be doing on any given day," she said.

Amanda O'Nan, principal of Hilton Head Island High School, said parents can shadow their children as they move from class to class and observe how teachers keep 25 students with different learning styles on task and moving in the same direction.

"It's a very hard job to be a teacher, and sometimes I don't think people know how many balls you juggle in the air at one given moment," she said.