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Breaking the Ice


Though in-person instruction has resumed full-time, Back to School Nights remained virtual this year to limit the number of people on campuses. Here is a look at Virtual Back to School Nights across the District:

Granite Hill Elementary - August 10th

“Back to school night is one of the most important events in the school year,” said Beatriz Farone, teacher on special assignment, during her school’s event. “It’s a chance for families to come into the school, albeit virtually this school year, and meet with the staff, with the teachers, with who their kids are going to be with all day long.”

Dr. GadsenGranite Hill teachers were on-site to host their virtual sessions, using their time with parents to explain schedules and provide resources. Many found unique ways to make the virtual format accessible, like Dr. Maria Gadsen, who picked up her laptop and carried it around her first grade classroom, showing parents her setup. The tour included where individual students sit, her PE materials, and even the neighboring cafeteria. Knowing what their child’s classroom looks like can bring parents comfort, and help them visualize their child’s day during after school conversations.

“It’s important to make that connection with the parents,” said Ms. Farone. “It’s important for them to make that connection with us as well.”

Rubidoux High School - August 12th

For many parents and guardians of high school students, Back to School Night was an opportunity to learn about the academic challenges their students might face throughout the year. 

Briane Roble“My AP students are getting into their first-ever AP class, and so I try to give the parents a fair warning about the reading that’s coming,” said Briane Roble. “But most importantly, [I let them know] I’m here to support their students through any situation that they need, that my door is always open, and they can come to me for anything.”

In addition to offering support, the history teacher used her sessions to provide links to classroom resources, including study guides, College Board materials, and other outside sources. 

“[Back to School Night is] part of relationship building. It’s important to reach out to the parents and show them who’s teaching their children,” said Mrs. Roble.

Mission Middle School - August 19th

Kevin Corona began building relationships with his students' parents by sharing his ties to the Jurupa community. Before becoming a math teacher, Mr. Corona attended Rustic Lane Elementary, Mission Middle School, and Rubidoux High School. “I am a Jurupa baby,” he said with pride. “I am part of this community. I did come back, and I am here to make a difference.”

Stephen Fox, Education Specialist, was also eager to connect. “Especially in special education, we’re going to meet the parents eventually anyway,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to first meet them. It’s like an icebreaker.”

Amber Harrell-TobeyAs for Amber Harrell-Tobey, Back to School Night was about comfort, reassurance, and looking forward.

“I just want to let the parents know that their kids are in good hands,” shared the math teacher. “Assure them that they’re going to get the value of having in-person instruction and that I completely understand there are some skills that have definitely been missed over the past year and a half, but that we are going to work together [on those skills].”