By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Open houses this week
Schools welcome students, parents
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
On the Net

To learn more about the 2010-11 school year, go online at
Students and families can roam school hallways, meeting new people and catching up with old friends, as Forsyth County schools hold open houses this week.

“It’s a little hectic, but it’s a good kind of hectic,” said Cumming Elementary Principal Pam Pajerski, who was working Tuesday with her staff to prepare for school’s open house.

The back-to-school ritual will be held Wednesday at county middle schools and Thursday at elementary schools. The hours of each are 4 to 6:30 p.m.

The 2010-11 school year begins Monday.

Open house allows students and families to get acclimated or re-engaged in their schools, said system spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo.

“It’s a great way for them to get into the school before schools starts, rejoin the PTA or PTO, buy some school spirit wear, get to meet their teachers and be able to put a name with the face,” she said.

High schools do not hold traditional open houses due to the high volume of students, Caracciolo said, though the schools do offer some type of orientation.

Specific times are posted on individual school Web sites and outdoor signs.

The schools may also ask that students attend at certain time periods based on their last name, Carracciolo said.

In addition, some elementary and middle schools may have separate events for kindergartners or sixth-graders.

Cumming Elementary began splitting times last year and received positive feedback both from families and teachers, Pajerski said.

The school holds its kindergarten open house at 3 p.m., to allow parents to get information “more comfortably,” she said.

Splitting the remaining times by students’ last name has helped with crowding, she said, which allows for a more personal experience for families.

Pajerski said the school also aims to tie up any loose ends, such as lunch accounts and transportation issues, at open house.

“Our goal is to have them come in one time and get everything set up for the year,” she said.

At some elementary schools, students may receive a welcome letter, postcard or phone call from their new homeroom teacher before open house, Caracciolo said.

During open house, students can visit teachers and bring their supplies to put in their desks or lockers, she said.

General school supply lists are available on the school system’s Web site and at most major stores, though some teachers may require additional materials.

Middle schoolers can expect to get their schedule and find where their classrooms are during their open houses.

For those who don’t know where to start, Caracciolo suggested the school’s main corridor.

“A lot of the schools will post rosters there, and then the staff is there too to direct them and help them,” she said.

Staff members have been asked to park off campus and get shuttled in to open up parking for families, but schools also ask that people carpool when possible.

Those who can’t make their open house should check with the school or their child’s teacher to get information needed for the first day.

Contact the school before Friday, Caracciolo said, since that’s a furlough day and no staff will be working.