Parents visit Mount Si High School
March 5, 2009
By Laura Geggel
Ken Grant usually drops his son off at Mount Si High School in the morning, but he made the leap from the parking lot to the classroom Feb. 25 for Parent Visitation Day.
About 20 parents in all came to the high school for the third annual visitation day. Some parents came for a half-day and others managed to make it through the entire school day — a feat their children complete 180 days a year.
Before going to classes, parents debriefed with Mount Si Principal Randy Taylor at the Wildcat Café.
“It’s a great opportunity for parents to experience high school life,” Taylor said. “I think it’s really important for parents to have that perception.”
The crowd, mostly parents of underclassmen, went to classes and some even participated in the lessons.
Miriam Kroschel learned about Washington state’s geology in her ninth-grade daughter’s earth science class.
A certified public accountant, Kroschel said she took time off, despite tax season’s pressing demands.
“It was personally important to be a part of my daughter’s life and to understand her education and the things she goes through on a daily basis,” Kroschel said. “I made it a priority.”
Parents may have been thrilled, but what did their children think? It’s one thing to hang out with mom and pop at home, but having them come to school can be something else.
“I wasn’t too happy or excited because it’s like your family time is at home and your school time is at school, where you can get a break and hang out with kids,” Carmen Kroschel said.
Still, there were perks. As a Snoqualmie Middle School graduate, few of Carmen Kroschel’s Chief Kanim Middle School friends had met her mother. But there were more students than just Kroschel and her friends — Miriam Kroschel had to learn how to navigate through the hallways between classes.
“You have to weave through people and my mom wasn’t used to it,” Carmen Kroschel said. “Mom was totally lost.”
“It’s very crowded,” her mother said. “To say its elbow-to-elbow is an understatement. I got separated from my daughter at one moment. I went, ‘Oh shoot, did she go down this hallway or that hallway?’”
The two reunited — only 20 feet and a wave of students separated them — and made it to the next class on time.
“I thought it was good,” Kroschel said. “I was really glad to have the opportunity. I was really surprised more parents didn’t take more advantage of it.”
With 1,442 students, Kroschel said the visitation day’s parent-student ratio could have been better. Grant, the organizer, said he planned to do more promotion for the event next year. Up to 100 parents are allowed to Parent Visitation Day.
One family had 100 percent attendance. Becky Miller and her husband Dwight tag-teamed, with each parent attending classes with one of their two daughters.
“What really stood out was the really good, in-depth discussions that were facilitated and led by the teachers,” Becky Miller said. “They really engaged the kids and took time to discuss things in class.”
Her husband said attending the visitation day reaffirmed that his girls are good students and have a good group of friends.
The parents joked a few styles had changed since their school days. Grant said he noticed more multitasking students, pointing to a girl plugged into her iPod and texting on her cell phone.
Although he said the subjects were the same, Dwight Miller noted his daughter’s language arts class was similar to his vocabulary and composition class he took in high school.
Language arts teacher Eric Goldhammer welcomed the parents.
“He told kids, ‘this is bring your parents to school day,’ and a lot of kids said ‘Oh really?’” Dwight Miller said. “I think a lot of kids would like to see their parents out there.”
Reach reporter Laura Geggel at 392-6434 .221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.