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Parent night survey

Sandy J

Junior Member
I am looking for some information on how different schools handle parent night. Please answer the following questions. Thank you for your time.

1. When do you have it? (ex. Third week of school, 7-8 p.m.)

2. Is it school wide? If it is, how do you deal with families that have more than one student?

3. How well attended is it? What do you do to get the parents there?

Ours is held the third week of school from about 7-9. It begins with a joint meeting, then parents are sent to individual classrooms. They are allowed about 20 minutes per teacher, but we still have trouble juggling the parents with more than two kids, and our attendance rate is less than 50%.


Senior Member
parent night

We have an open house/cookout the afternoon/evening before school starts. We have 2 grade levels going at a time, 1/2 hour time slots. Families come and eat and hear about the upcoming school year. It is VERY well attended. I'd say out of a typical class of 24 or so kids I usually have at least 20 families come. Some grade levels do individual classroom presentations, and some grade levels meet together in the gym.


Senior Member
open house

We don't have a "meeting" so much as just an Open House event.

1. It's normally held about 4 weeks after school starts. I think the hours were 4-6.

2. Yes, it's school wide. The only exception is K, because they have a big night 2 days before school starts. Because it's an Open House, it doesn't matter how many kids you have. You just go into your child's classroom anytime between those 2 hours, meet the teacher, look around, and then move onto the other child's classroom.

3. It's fairly well attended. I think out of 23 students last year, I had 20 show up. We have the student's work displayed, and that normally entices them some. I also gave the kids a goody bag if they showed up (I told them ahead of time), so they normally talked their parents into coming. ;)

I've heard of some schools offering door prizes to get parents there. It's sad that we have to do that, but I guess it takes that sometimes.

I think the Open House makes it easier for everyone because it's very informal, it doesn't matter what time you get there (which makes it nice for working parents), and you can visit all your kids' classrooms without missing anything.


Senior Member
If you feed them, they will come!

Our school always has a "Meet The Teacher" night a couple of days before the first day of school.
It's school-wide, and there is no set schedule. The parents just come and go as they need to. That way, they can visit the teachers for ALL their children. We run ours from 3:30-7:00 with supper served around 6:00.

It's VERY well-attended, especially when we have Hot Dogs or Pizza in the cafeteria for a nominal fee. They can come, meet their teachers, see their school, and then go by the cafeteria for supper. The teacher's husbands and the coaches are usually the ones serving, and the kids/parents get a KICK outta THAT! The teacher's husbands have name tags so the kids get to see which husband goes with their teacher.

Also at this Meet The Teacher Night, our PTO/PTA sells PACKAGED school supplies so the parents can buy all the supplies needed for class for around $25...depending upon the grade level. Then, since all the supplies are shrink-wrapped, they take them to their teacher's class, set them on their child's desk during Meet the Teacher Night. I write their name on the big package and we take a few minutes on the first day of school to write names on specific supplies.

The parents LOVE this and just about EVERY kid has their supplies on the first day of school...AND they're what the teacher actually ASKED for. :)

We ALSO have an Open House about 12 weeks after school starts. Then, there's three or four "Academic Nights" when the student can earn extra points in specific subjects for attending and bringing their parents.



Full Member
"Open House"

At our school we have "Open House" the Monday following the start of school (we usually start on a Wed.). Ours is scheduled for 1 hour from 7:00-8:00. Parents have the opportunity to visit their child's classroom for one, thirty minute presentation, and then if they have other children they move onto the other classroom for a second presentation. It is a meet the teacher, get the rules and procedures kind of meeting, the kids are supposed to stay home. We generally have a very good turn out. Our principal is excellent at calling over the speaker system at 7:25 to tell the teachers to wrap it up so everyone can move to another classroom. At 7:55 she does the same only stating it is time to get back home to their children so they have time to read a bedtime story and tuck the children in.

Sandy J

Junior Member
Academic nights

Your meet the teacher night sounds great. Could you please explain a little more about what goes on during those "Academic Nights"?

Ms. Bell

Junior Member
Back-to-School Night

Our Back-to-School Night is about three weeks into the school year. The kids have a half day that day, and most of them will come back from 6:30-8:30 with their parents.

It's rather informal. I do a class scavenger hunt and have stations set up around the room for students and parents to do. That keeps me free to talk individually to parents. I don't do a group talk. That makes it easy for parents to come and go if they have more than one child in school.

Afterwards, there are refreshments for everyone.


Senior Member
Academic Nights


Our Academic Nights are usually held on Tuesday or Thursday nights from 6-8 PM.

We have done this several different ways....

1. Teachers are in their rooms awaiting parents and students to come by (similar to an open house)--
2. The teachers are responsible for coming up with an activity (focusing on state standards) for the Parent/Child to complete together

For teachers who are self-contained, our Principal told us to choose which subject our activity would address--usually a Math, Science or Reading activity-- If the teacher taught only only subject like with departmentalized grade level teams, the parent & child would visit each of their teachers and complete those activities.

3. We set up a couple of areas in the room (kind of like centers) where the student and the parent could complete the activity.

4. Once the activity was completed, the teacher would "check-off" or initial their participation card and the parent/child would move on to another room to complete another activity.

When they finished at least 4 activities (as initials or checked-off on their card) the last teacher would keep their card and return it to their homeroom teachers. The homeroom teacher would then give those students extra credit/incentive award/name in a drawing, etc for attending.

ANOTHER WAY that we've done it was to have a THEMED academic night...like Science Night, Multi-Cultural Night, Reading Rodeo, Math Marathon Night, etc...

1. Set up gaming/center activities on tables in the gym and and cafeteria and in certain rooms around the school that pertain to DIFFERENT aspects of the theme. (For example: Science night, we had a bubble table, magnet tables, a room where the kids learned about germs with blacklights and florescent paint (fun), weather stations, etc...)

2. Each table/room/activity was manned by at least two teachers and/or parent volunteers.

3. The student/parents would choose which activity/table/room they would like to visit.

4. We had no cards on this type of Academic Night...The student/parent groups would just roam and visit the activities they wanted.

Students would get extra points and/or other incentives for attending & participating.

It takes LOTS of work to do it the 2nd way---we've only done it that way once, but it was a HUGE success.

Again, we usually offer refreshments or even a meal, depending on what the faculty decides.

Our principal had us doing one Academic Night every six-weeks....the parents loved it and there was always a huge turn-out.
In Texas, schools are accountable for parent participation so this is one way to accomplish this.

I hope this helps.



Senior Member
Open House

We have ours the day before school starts. It runs from 6:30-8:00. It's a come and go thing. We have very good attendance. I usually meet 90-100% of my kids. They bring in their supplies, look around the room, and then they leave. It is for K-8. The high school has theirs at a different time.


Full Member
ours is the Friday before school starts

Our school starts on a Monday, and our Meet the teacher night is the Friday before. We have a really good attendance rate- we are a small school too, though. We let the kids bring their school supplies that night so they're not dragging them in on the first day of school. Also, I put all of those forms and my letter in an envelope for each student, so they parents have that weekend to fill some of it out. I know that the first week of school I'll be passing out a lot more forms and letters, and it helps to get some of it to the parents a little bit early.


Full Member
Open House

In our district, all schools have an "Open House" the day before the first day of school. This year the elementary schools will have theirs from 3-5:00 p.m.; middle schools 4-6:00 p.m.; and high schools 5-7:00 p.m. Parents just drop in, so they can hit multiple classrooms. We don't have a formal presentation. Students learn who their teacher is, meet him/her, look around the classroom, and get a supply list if they need one. I usuall try to speak for a few minutes to each parent, find out special needs of their children, if any, and give them a packet of forms to fill out (lunch, insurance, etc). We used to have another Open House after three weeks or so, but it was not well attended so we dropped it. We do have parent/teacher conferences after three or four weeks.

Lodi 3rd

Full Member
Back to School Night

is different than Open House or Curriculum Night. Back to School Night is the first week of school, usually on Thursday from 6:30-8. grades 1-3 have the first 45 minutes and 4-6 the second. Teachers have the entire 45 minutes to discuss expectations, materials, curriculum outlings, field trips, parent volunteers, etc. Generally we have about 80% turn out, depends on your individual class make-up. We have a Back to School BBQ the end of August sponsored by the PTA, this is an informal get together for teachers and families. Each month starting in Sept. we have a single grade Curriculum Night. Each grade decides on the topics they want to present. Last year we did 30 min. each for : Sci./Math, ELA, Computer Lab. We fed them first and the Music teacher did a small presentation with the students for entertainment. This was an interactive evening. In my section the students and parents played some simple math games that would help with learning all the x's facts, and we set up the Moon Phases Calendar assignment. Our night was the week of parent/teacher conferences just before our two week fall break. Being first, we had good turn out.:s)


Full Member
Parent Night

1) At my school, we have separate Parent Nights for Lower School and Middle School. Middle School has theirs first, during the second week of school. We in Lower School have oursduring the third week of school - gives us more time to get student work on bulletin boards! We hold them in the evening, usually 6:30-8:00 PM.

2) We don't have any great way to handle conflicts for parents with kids in different grades in the same division. If both parents can come, they'll split up and hit different grades. If only one parent can come, then they have to choose which classroom presentation to attend - usually the one for the teacher they've never had before. Then they'll swing by the other room and pick up any handouts.

3) Our attendance is usually good; I'd estimate 75%. We don't do anything in particular to entice parents to come. We just announce the dates.


Full Member
Parent nights

We have four terms a year and are expected to have a 'celebration' or family event twice a year. This may be a play, displays of work or we just had a quiz night which raised some money for school camp.
We also have two student led conferences a year. Parents come in for ten minute slots during which children share what they are learning, what their next steps are and also some work samples.
Portfolios are sent home every term and reports at the end of the year.
Other than that we do have an open door policy - parents can come in whenever they like.


Junior Member
Parent Night

We have our "Parent Orientation" during the second week of school. We start at 7 p.m. and usually end by 8:30 p.m. This is a meeting just for parents, so kids do not attend. Teachers only stay for the classroom sessions (7-8), and we don't need to attend the principal's meeting at 8:00 :-).

The first two sessions are in the classrooms: 7-7:25 and then the same presentation at 7:30-7:55. A mom and a dad with more than 1 child in the school can attend different sessions. It would be hard for a single parent with more than 2 children to visit each classroom! The meeting where the principal, PTF, and other committes talk starts at 8:00 pm. and usually lasts a half hour (Sometimes PTF is long-winded on their presentation).

The Parent Orentation is for all grade levels K-8 (a private school). Attendance for my grade (grade 2 for six years) has been high. I've heard that the turn-out is lower in the higher grade. Usually only 2-3 parents do not come for my grade, due to work schedules or family obligations. It is more likely that parents will not attend the Principals meeting, especially if their child has been enrolled for a few years! I've suggested collecting car keys until the end of the evening :-) LOL

During the orientation, teachers discuss classroom/school expectations, sometimes new information in the handbook, curriculum goals, expectations, grading procedures and studies, home/school communications, parent volunteer opportunities, etc. It's basically a time for teachers and parents to "get on the same page" for the year and gain their support as a team to teach their child.


Senior Member
parent night

We used to have ours (county wide after school started-around the middle of the first nine weeks). However two years ago we got a new principal...who by the way is wonderful. Now our school has it the week school starts. School starts on a Thursday. Each grade or two has it on a different day covering from the weekend until Wednesday night before school starts. Third and Fourth grade's is Tuesday at 2:30pm. Parents with multiple children go on multiple days. Last year I had a parent who had a 3rd and 4th grader so the mom first came to my room for a while and then the other room. My attendance rate is usually about 50-60%. I have taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades and it seems the older the child, the less the parents are involved, sad! We all meet in the lunchroom to accomadate the parents, students and teachers. Our principal addresses everyone for a few minutes. Tells anything new coming up. Then she calls a teacher and the students who will be in that class and they follow her into her classroom. I guess this way they dont have to try to find it. Then the teacher goes over whatever she needs to in her classroom and hands out papers that need to filled out or signed and most of the parents fill everything out right then. After some time our principal makes an announcement (thank goodness) for the parents and teachers to wrap things up. You know how some parents want to linger and tell you all about their child? Our principal makes it clear that this is really not the time for a conference.
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Full Member
Two Nights Designated

In our K-8 school, our first night is during the second week with the second night during the third week. On the first night, the primary students and the 7/8 students have their homeroom meetings and time is allotted to meet with specialist teachers. The second night is designated for the 4-6 grades. Our nights begin at 6:30 and end by 8:45. Each grade level is given 45 min. to explain curriculum plans, beliefs, and expectations. It is a given that some parents may need to leave early in order to attend another grade level's presentation, but for the most part, our families divide up their presence with mom and dad spreading themselves out. Attendance is excellent, with perhaps only one of two families not having been represented. Childcare is offered, but most families make home arrangements.


Senior Member
Parent Night

Our "Meet the Teacher" night is similar to KellyTeachTx's minus the food. A night or two before school starts we have a "come and go" event. Parents and kids find their rooms, come in for a few minutes, meet the teacher, explore the room, drop off supplies if they brought them, then go. Our school also sells the shrink-wrapped packs. They are pre-ordered in the spring and can be picked up and paid for on that night. They also order extras for new kids whose parents want to buy them that way. We usually have about 2 hours for this event.

Later, in early November, our 3rd grade will have another Parent Night to discuss the TAKS Benchmark tests we took, the results, give parents copies of the tests showing the correct strategies the children could have used on each question and their children's actual tests.

We have a school-wide Family Math Night in the spring. This is in place of an open house. We have only done this the past 2 years, but it was widely attended, and we plan to continue doing it yearly.