Parents Experience Life at KO for a Night


On Tuesday, Sept. 25, parents came to campus to experience their children’s’ lives at KO by attending classes and advisee groups from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..

Interim Director of the Upper School Carolyn McKee said that Parents’ Night is an annual event for parents to meet teachers and see what the classes are like. “They will get to know what and how we teach at KO,” she said.

She said that the parents gathered in the Roberts Theatre at 6:00 p.m. for a welcoming speech held by Head of School Tom Dillow, Parent Association President Eileen Stephan, and KO Fund Co-Chairs Julie and Richard Alleyne.

Ms. McKee said that parents headed off to advisee groups at 6:25 and then off to class–– which began at 6:35–– at 6:30.  

Ms. McKee said that the schedule went from A to H period, each lasting for 10 minutes and having five minutes in between classes. She said that there were receptions held in the library during free periods and study halls.

Ms. McKee said that it was an interesting opportunity for parents to appreciate what their students’ days are like.

She said that teachers planned various activities for the parents.“It has always been my favorite time of the year,” she said. “It’s just so great to see the parents and to be able to give them a sense of what life is like here on a daily basis and the learning that is happening.”

Science teacher Kathleen Disanto, who teaches physics and AP Physics C, said that she made a cute-looking presentation about her background, the resources–– her YouTube channel, whiteboards, pictures of people working on lab––in class, her standard based grading policy, and the stress levels in class.  

She said that she gave the parents a taste of what it is like to be in class. “I tried to make people love physics,” she said, “and the parents seemed really happy and some expressed their wish of going back to take physics. I think they were really appreciative and positive and warm.”

English teacher Heidi Hojnicki said that she explained to parents about the readings the students are doing in class, her goals for the class, and the assessments and projects involved.

She said that for her symposium class, she shared with parents the metaphors about poker her students wrote during the first day of class. “One of our summer readings was Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Noble Hustle,’” she said, “and I had my students explain the ranks of poker through metaphors, like what Whitehead did.”

She said that there was a lot of laughter in the room and that she could tell that the parents loved the metaphors. “Sometimes parents would be like ‘this must be…’ or ‘I knew my daughter wrote this,’” Ms. Hojnicki said, “it was fun to meet the parents. I think they appreciated the work that their children are doing here and it’s interesting to learn about them.”

Science teacher Noah Lynd said that he did an experiment for his AP Chemistry class. He said that it was a double replacement reaction, where sodium carbonate reacted with zinc nitrite and resulted in a cloudy solution with a white precipitate.

Mr. Lynd said that he also explained goals for the class, which are to familiarize students with chemistry topics and build confidence in college and to prep the AP Chemistry students to do well on the AP test, while fostering an interest and curiosity in science.

“I think the chemistry went over the head of the parents,” Mr. Lynd said. “Yet even though they didn’t really understand the chemistry, it was still nice for them to see the environment the kids are in.”

Senior Lian Wolman said that she thinks Parents’ Night is a very valuable night for the community. “I think parents night is a really good opportunity for our parents to actually see what we do in class and meet all of our teachers,” she said. “I think my dad came home with a new appreciation for all the work I put into my classes after he experienced them for just a few minutes.

Another plus to Parents’ Night was that it was a no homework day the following Wednesday.