A Look Into the Virtual Parent’s Night of Classes

Parents+pose+for+a+photo+in+English+teacher+Ms.+Laine+Remignanti%27s+period+four+Journalism+class.

Lucie Edwards ('21)

Parents pose for a photo in English teacher Ms. Laine Remignanti’s period four Journalism class.

Lucie Edwards, Graphics Editor - Print

The 2020-21 Parents’ Night of Classes, commonly referred to as PNOC, looked a lot different than it has in past years. Usually, all parents are invited to campus for the evening to walk through their student’s schedules, attending all of their classes and meeting all of their teachers. 

However, due to COVID-19 and the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines, this year’s PNOC was modified with the safety of the greater community in mind. The administration considered having each teacher create videos for the parents to watch during the class periods. In the end, however, the administration decided that a live event over Zoom would be the best choice. 

Looking back, Academic Dean Ms. Janice Murabayashi is glad that they decided to take this approach. “Anecdotally,” she notes with a smile, “the event went smoothly, and the parents seemed to really enjoy it.” She recounted the evening and remembers sitting in front of her laptop, refreshing her email, and expecting frustrated parents with technology issues to spam her inbox. She then realized that with PNOC online, students would be able to help their parents navigate through the meetings and translate the schedule. 

Math teacher Mrs. Dolores Williamson was also on edge about PNOC. Meeting with parents is normally nerve-racking, and the online format did not help to lessen this feeling. She notes, “This year came with a different kind of nerves, but it ended up being great.” 

There are many things that make PNOC valuable. It allows for parents to put a face to the names their kids have been mentioning and for teachers to connect with families directly. In his period eight Associated Student Body Council (ASBC)/Leadership class the day after the event, Associate Dean of Students Mr. Shane Walton touched on this idea, saying “PNOC is such an important event because it really lets parents see how much you guys do in a given school day.” Mr. Walton went on to consider the value of having a live, online PNOC, as it served to “make the parents really understand how hard it can be to focus and learn in an online environment.” Mrs. Amalia Myer, mom to Bella,  Emma, and Jonny Myer — (‘22), (‘23), and (‘27) respectively — agreed that PNOC serves an important purpose, stating “I think it gave me a great insight into the kids’ school experience that they have almost every day.”

While some students were nervous about their parents’ abilities to adjust to Zoom, Jessica Luo (‘24) was pleasantly surprised by their parents’ performance. Jessica’s mom, Dr. Jean Luo felt that “the online format worked out well and it was easy to navigate the links.” Mrs. Myer agreed, saying “maneuvering parent night with three kids at the school was a little stressful and chaotic at first, but once we got the hang of Zoom and switching classes, it was a great experience.” Instead of having to navigate campus and differentiate between buildings, parents could more easily move from class to class.

In the future, other Bishop’s events may have to be held in a similar fashion. And while Ms. Murabyashi hopes that everyone will eventually be able to attend these functions in person, she is overall very pleased with the outcome of PNOC.“For a worst-case scenario, it wasn’t all that bad.”