Back to School Night transforms into Stay at Home Night


Lauren Guss, News Editor

Picture this scene: cozied up on the couch, slippers, blankets, YouTube, snacks, air conditioning, and the comfort of home. You may think that this was a Saturday night accompanied by pets and relaxation, but what if this was actually Back to School Night? 


On Sept. 1, parents and guardians went to school like students do nowadays: online. At 7 p.m., Mr, Crawford released a welcome to viewers through a YouTube link. Teachers then broadcasted information about their class through prerecorded videos. Parents could view any teacher’s Back to School Night speech at any time from where they are without “being tied to the two-hour schedule moving from class to class at school,” explained Mrs. Moscoe, coordinator of the event. 


With the help of Mrs. Gibson, her assistant, she arranged the details for this event to occur while accommodating the quarantine. Alongside these staff members was Mrs. Hinze, who organized the technological components needed to convert Back to School Night to Stay at Home Night. 


When asked what she hoped the overall response to going virtual would be, she voiced, “I am hopeful that with the online format, more parents might receive the information that teachers wish to share on this evening,” wished Mrs. Moscoe, days before Back to School night occurred. Their hard work had certainly paid off, for the overall response the organizers received was remarkable. 


An interview from Mrs. Rice, a parent of a West Ranch senior, confirmed Mrs. Moscoe’s high hopes for this twisted at-home function:


“I thought the virtual Back to School was extremely well organized and promoted,” she emphasized, “The timing and delivery worked well and I appreciated the option to view at a later time in the event that something unexpected conflicted in my schedule… Other than not seeing the classroom in person, I felt nothing was missing and in fact only enhanced, as now parents have an opportunity to review the presentations should they ‘walk’ away trying to recall what was said. Unless you’re a copious note taker, that’s hard to do with an in-person event.”


The ability to attend Back to School Night when convenient for the viewer was certainly a big plus this year. “Parents can literally view everything from the comfort of their couch on a phone, iPad or computer,” Mrs. Moscoe declared. 


Mrs. Rice went on to say, “Though I mourn alongside my son and all the other students in high school for all that is and will be absent their senior year, I am okay with not meeting his teachers in-person. The teachers delivered their true authentic selves this year, they did not appear to be rushed as some have in years past during in-person Back to School Nights.”


Even though this event turned out to be a great success, numerous parents and teachers nonetheless missed the on-campus aspect of the occasion. Additionally, having to publish videos going over their class structure provoked mixed emotions from many staff members, including Spanish teacher Mrs. Rivas: 


“In recording a video, I didn’t have the opportunity to communicate with parents one on one and make them remember some Spanish. I always love the interaction Back to School night brings,” she articulates. “Recording my presentation took practice and multiple tries. Although it was different, I welcomed the new experience.”


This was definitely a learning curve for all teachers and staff to overcome, but everybody pulled it off successfully and the event went smoothly, which was the hope for this special Back to School Night.


The link to the virtual Back to School Night is found in the menu of the West Ranch High School website at the bottom of the drop down. Using the last name and the subject a student’s teacher instructs, a viewer may locate any educator’s prerecorded video explaining their class. The “support services” tab has videos from ASB, the library, the wellness center, athletic directors and more. We hope to be back on campus for this event next year, but we can not predict the future. However, we can forecast many more successful Back to School Nights in upcoming years following the turnout of this virtual meet.