Last Thursday night, the halls of Old Rochester Regional High School were filled with the normal bustle of heading to classes. The difference? Parents were the ones using student schedules to navigate around the school for the annual open house.
“It was fantastic,” parent Karen Coucci said. She and her husband Jim were participating in their first open house for their freshman son. “It was very well organized; there was a lot of information given out.”
“Teachers seem very accommodating if extra help is needed,” Jim Coucci added.
“I thought it went really well,” commented English teacher Megan Hall. “It’s always nice to meet the parents and put faces to names.”
Besides the usual run-through of the student schedule, this year’s open house also included a “Hidden in Plain Sight” exhibit. A popular display both this year and last year, it provided parents with a glimpse of possible indicators that their child is using drugs or alcohol.
This open house was also unique due to the bake sale for Hurricane Irma victims, organized by senior Alice Bednarczyk. Students from the National Honor Society and American Field Service club donated their time and baking skills to create a massive amount of sweets for the fundraiser.
“When we put all the food on the table, we thought we had more than we could sell and that we wouldn’t actually raise any money,” Bednarczyk said. “Throughout the night, curious parents came over to us and were incredibly enthusiastic about our cause. Some people just dropped twenty-dollar bills into our donation bins and walked away, only wanting to donate. Our initial goal was three hundred dollars, and we made over seven hundred dollars for the hurricane victims. It’s really heartwarming to know what people will do for a good cause.”
The AmbassadOR club also gave their time to the open house night, with around two dozen stationed in the halls to direct parents to their next classes.
“The night ran smoothly,” said senior Ambassador Jenna Aruri. “The Ambassadors did a great job coming together to help parents and guardians find their way around.”
“I love how many parents came out to meet their children’s teachers and support them for the coming school year,” senior Ambassador Mackenzie Drew added.
Sherri Costa, whose daughter is a School Choice student from Fall River, accurately summed up the atmosphere of the event. “It’s such a family-orientated school, that’s what I love about it.”
By Jo Caynon