Back to School Night Sets a Positive Tone for the School Year


State high welcomes visitors As back to school night 2021 begins on the evening of September 9th.

Vivian Passonneau and Eva Varlyguin

September 9th marked the return of State High’s annual Back To School Night, which gave a new form of energy that State High was deprived of for almost two full years. The event was an open house which allowed for families to find their way around to talk to their child’s teachers. The faculty spoke with parents about the new school year, given how different it is from most. 


As the night progressed, parents poured in to explore the school and meet teachers. After a year and a half of school taking part completely or partially online, parents were excited to finally see what the school was like. 


“The energy is electric,” student teacher, Julie Byrne, said.


“The feeling I’m getting the most from this is gratitude,” said Alison Becker, English 10 and AP English Literature 12 teacher. 


The theme of gratitude was commonplace throughout the night. The open doors signified the new beginnings and a return from the era of remote learning. Parents were grateful for the involvement they were given and had trust in the staff, more so than any previous year. They expressed their thanks for the hard work of the teachers. 


“Students are so happy and grateful,” Laura Tobias, the new principal, said. “The energy is contagious,the energy continues to here. Parents want to experience it.”


Although there were fewer attendees than previous years, those who did attend were able to interact with the teachers on a more personal level. This allowed for a less stressful night for parents and teachers alike. Even though there were more parents than students, some students still chose to attend to show their parents around and explore the school for themselves. 


State High student Ari Gieros was one student who chose to attend. 


“I love going to school and I like my classes. I want to try to find my classes more easily and quickly,” Gieros said.


Freshman Sydney Richardson discussed her reason for attending: “I want to show my parents around. I was hoping they’d enjoy the experience and know where my things are.”


Safia Ishmael, a freshman as well, was excited to attend. 


“I want to introduce my family to the amazing teachers at this school and explore the school on my own time,” said Ishmael.


Laura Tobias was observing the night and had taken a mental note of the students and parents feelings. 


“[Students are saying], ‘I want to show my family, I want to show my parents, I want to show this space,’” said Tobias.


Not only was the night enjoyable for parents, but also well received by students. Despite being the first time the event had been run since before COVID-19. it was still well thought out and executed. Freshman Juliana Wong enjoyed the organization of the night: “It is laid out nicely and I appreciate the sheets that they handed out with all the teachers and the room they’re in.”


Regardless of the various reasons that students attended, one thing was clear: students care about the school and they were excited to show it off. 


Back to School Night not only allowed parents access to tour the school and meet teachers, but also to see a selection of clubs that the school offers. Parents interacted with representatives from the National Honor Society who were selling discounted prep books for the AP and SAT tests. The Forensics Club and DECA also had stands. 


The successful Back to School night set a positive tone in the minds of parents. And so, as the night concluded, the 2021 Back to School Night was deemed a triumph in the minds of parents, teachers, and students alike.