By Megan Hartsell
Last Thursday, Sept. 19 was an exceptionally exciting evening for students, teachers and parents alike.
Families of students in grades Pre-K through 12 are given the opportunity each year to explore Ellicottville Central School, its classrooms and meet the teachers who will be with their child for the next eight months.
The greatest commotion usually occurs in the elementary school wing of the building, with young, eager students tugging at their parents’ arms, oh-so excited to introduce mom and dad to their teacher, flaunt art projects and show what they’ve learned in the first two weeks of school.
Kim Woodarek, a kindergarten teacher, exclaimed that all of her students and their families came to open house, and even some previous students and their families stopped by for a visit.
“Since it’s just the beginning of the school year, we are working intensively on letter recognition and sounds,” she said. “We completed two different crafts that we displayed having to do with the classic alphabet book, ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.’”
Woodarek said her class also colored a clown holding eight balloons, practiced reading the crayon names and in the balloons wrote the eight words that they have learned to sound out and read.
“Not bad for the beginning of kindergarten,” she added. “Also, I asked my students to do word building with the cards and pictures for the words cat and hot.”
Elizabeth Weber, middle school English teacher, said, “I feel that I had a good turnout for open house.”
Every year, Weber said she feel as though she sees a majority of seventh-grade parents as they are new to middle school and the teachers in middle school. She said students are excited to show off their classrooms and lockers.
“I have fewer eighth-grade parents who come, which I’ve always assumed is because we met the year before,” she added. “I feel that my turn out is dependent on my class sizes for the year.”
High school attendees are usually fewer and farther in between, and teachers are happy to see anyone who will pay them a visit.
Crystal Wilder, middle and high school band teacher, doesn’t typically host many families on open house night. However, she did get the opportunity to enjoy open house with her daughter, Isabella, who is in 5th grade.
“It’s not hard yet to juggle my daughter’s open house with mine since she is still in elementary school,” Wilder said. “Once she gets into high school, I won’t be able to talk to her teachers because I’ll have to be in the band room to visit with parents.”
Isabella was in attendance for open house, and loved every minute of it.
“It’s so fun to go to open house. And it’s funny when the teacher gives your parents homework!” she giggled.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, high schoolers often do not attend open house. After more than a decade under the same roof with the same classmates and staff, some parents don’t feel the need to visit classrooms and teachers.
Sylvia Ford, a senior, did not go to open house. She said she feels as though she is doing well, and her mom doesn’t have reason to meet her teachers.
“I think that if I ever needed help my mom and I would know who to contact,” Sylvia said. “There’s not really much at open house for us to learn.”
The annual ECS tradition holds great value in the eyes of parents and teachers and is an important evening for all involved. Students, commence another great year!