Milton Welcomes Parents to Campus
by Eshani Chakrabarti on Friday, October 17th, 2014
Today, Friday October 17th, and Saturday October 18th, Milton Academy upper school parents join their children for a peek at Milton students’ day-to-day lives. Parents shadow their children in classes, watch sports games, get to know teachers and advisors, and attempt to experience Milton through the eyes of its students.
Parents’ Weekend includes a day of scripted classes, well-dressed teachers, and far superior snacks and lunch. Even though Parents’ Day can occasionally be nerve-wracking for some, for others, it’s an enjoyable day in which students have the opportunity to share with their parents the trials and joys of Milton Academy.
Parents will buzz around campus, following students who will simply go through their usual motions. Tired of the lukewarm and uninterested response to “how was school today!?”, parents have the opportunity to decode what their kids actually do at this fine institution, where the grass is perfectly manicured, the Student Center is pristine and the food is… Flik.
The day begins with morning assemblies, during which Milton Academy’s four a cappella groups perform. Afterwards, parents shadow their children, perhaps meeting with teachers and advisors after classes and during free periods. These meetings aim to help teachers connect with their students on a deeper level and provide the opportunity for parents to ask teachers questions.
Grace Stanfield (II) said, “In my three years in the Upper School, I’ve always signed up for the teacher meetings, even if I’m feeling confident in the class. I think parents are always very pleased to have a chance to connect with the teachers and the students you are with every day.”
Coffee and refreshments (and school newspapers) are provided at recess, and lunch is available from 11:00 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.
Though many students enjoy being a part of Parents’ Weekend, some find it difficult to participate surrounded by the watchful eyes of parents. Tyler Piazza (III) says, “It’s harder to talk on Parents Day because, well, your parents are in class, watching how much you participate.”
Teachers also note how different the class dynamic is on Parents’ Day, with normally quiet students talking and normally vocal students remaining silent.
No matter how kids feel about Parents’ Day, parents almost seem to universally love being a part of their kids’ school lives, even if only for a day or weekend. Lisa O’Connor, the mother of Sara O’Connor (III) and Stevie O’Connor (III) says, “I love going to the class dinner and meeting all the parents. Spending the day with the twins is something I always look forward to every year.”
Parents also get the opportunity to attend sports games; Henry Westerman (III) says that his favorite part of Parents’ Day is the number of fans at his cross country meets. “There are always so many people, and we run by and they love it. The support of fans propels me to do my absolute best,” he says.
On the Saturday of Parents’ Weekend, there are many events where parents can get involved with the Milton Academy lifestyle. Class I and Class II parents can attend an informal, open forum about college with members of the College Office. They also have the chance to hear the Milton Academy Jazz Band. Exchange programs, semester programs, and the senior project committee will also make presentations.
Seniors comment that Parents’ Weekend is especially important because it is the last chance they have to show their high school to their parents. Jake Daniels (I) says, “It’s always kind of nice to see how excited my mother gets at Parents’ Weekend. It lets her get a glimpse at the place I’ve spent all my time at for the past four years.”
But not all parents need to be newly introduced to the school and its members. Clay Heater (I), who has attended Milton since Kindergarten, says, “My parents have been to so many parents days they deserve a diploma.”
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