Staples parents attend Back to School Night in-person for the first time in two years


Photo by Ava Cordella ’24

On Sept. 13, parents of students in grades 11 and 12 leave the SHS building after meeting with their children’s teachers on Back to School Night. BTSN consisted of teachers introducing themselves as well as discussing their goals for the upcoming school year to parents.

Staples “Back to School Night” (BTSN) was held in-person after two years of it being virtual due to COVID-19. Parents came to the Staples high school (SHS) campus from 6:30-8:30 p.m. either on Thursday, Sept. 8 for parents of ninth and 10th graders or Tuesday, Sept. 13 for those of 11th and 12th graders. 

At this year’s BTSN, parents followed a schedule, in which they started with a 25-minute greeting speech from Principal Stafford W. Thomas, Jr. then attended 10-minute meetings with each of their child’s teachers in their designated classrooms starting with period one and going numerically through to period eight with a five minute passing time in between. 

During their child’s free period, parents had the opportunity to go outside of the auditorium for snacks and meet Principal Thomas as well as the assistant principals. Parents also had the option of going to the counseling office to talk to the school’s counselors.

“I always love attending back-to-school nights,” Berna Merih, a Staples parent said. “It is not only learning about the courses and meeting with the teachers but getting a glimpse of the high school experience.”

Kevin Cuccaro, a math teacher at Staples, see’s BTSN as a way for parents to get a sense of what a normal school day is like for their children.

“I think it’s important for parents to get a perspective of what their children’s day looks like and the size of the school and how much energy and effort it takes to navigate it,” Cuccaro said. “And also that they can be impressed at their children’s success at doing so.” 

I think it’s important for parents to get a perspective of what their children’s day looks like and the size of the school and how much energy and effort it takes to navigate it

— Kevin Cuccaro, Staples math teacher

During virtual BTSN’s, teachers would either livestream or pre-record a video of themselves for parents to watch. 

“It was a necessary substitution,” Jesse Bauks, an English teacher at Staples said. “Yes it can be a pain, for lack of a better word, especially for some families or teachers you know with younger kids or things like that to come back to school but I think it is worthwhile for sure.”

Merih is grateful that she was still able to attend BTSN, even if it was virtually, however, is aware of the missed opportunities that come with it.

“We bumped into some parents we knew and chatted while walking in between the sessions,” Merih said. “Seeing the teachers in their own rooms and sitting on the children’s desks are great experiences compared to watching recordings limited to a rather small rectangle screen.” 

Merih especially appreciates the social interaction parents and teachers are able to experience when BTSN takes place in-person.

“I find them very important in terms of forming a bridge between the school and the parents.” Merih said. “I always come back home feeling grateful that we have such a great school and amazing teachers.”