Bel Air High School’s First Family-Teacher Connection Night Event Met with Success

View of attendees enjoying Bobcat Bites, community partner information, and networking with each other.

On January 28, 2019, Bel Air High School (BAHS) hosted its first Family-Teacher Connection Night (FTCN). More than 200 parents and students attended the event and participated in a variety of workshops presented by BAHS teachers, administrators, and community partners.

The purpose of FTCN was to share valuable information about learning and teenagers. Factoring in after-school activities and part-time work, a typical high school teenager spends more time in school than at home.

The evening included a welcome from Principal Gregory Komondor and teacher Jennifer Sokolis. Then, BAHS and Bel Air Middle School families attended three pre-registered sessions of their choice and snacked on delicious finger food created by Chef Scott and the Bobcat Bites students. The sessions highlighted the different facets of teenage life and how families and their school can work together to support these growing minds.

In addition, several community organizations had tables set up with information and resources for families.

The feedback received from attendees about the event was overwhelmingly positive. Several parents suggested to have FTCN more than once a year. One parent said, “I wish I could have attended more session times/slots.”

Another parent shared, “Well-planned – wish I would have brought my student.” Dr. Helen Miller, BAHS assistant principal, spearheaded the FTCN idea and several BAHS teachers volunteered to plan, promote, and present, including Ms. Barry, Ms. Blackburn, Mr. Kassouf, Ms. McDonough, Dr. Miller, Chef Scott, Ms. Smith, Ms. Sokolis, and Ms. Todd. “Based on the passion of the teachers and the positive feedback from families, the FamilyTeacher Connection Night will become a staple of Bel Air High School. Teaming with families is the key to student success,” said Dr. Miller.

Families selected from the following available sessions:
• Art: The Art of Relieving Stress – Ms. Jergensen
• Awareness: Tobacco, Drugs and Alcohol – Officer Krause
• Balance Like a Boss: Student Strategies & Techniques to Survive the Busy School Week – Ms. Barry
• Brain Biology: The Teenage Brain – Dr. Miller
• Course Levels: AP, Honors, General – What’s the Difference? – Ms. Lukasavage
• English: Reading as a Pathway to Success – Ms. Nieman
• Get the Scoop: Q&A with BAHS Student Panel – Ms. Smith
• Internet Culture: A Crucial Influence of the Connected Teenager – Mr. Benfield
• Keys to Success: Special Education Resources – Ms. Forster
• Math: How to Help Your Child with Math, Even Though It’s Not Your Thing – Ms. Benfield and Ms. Wieber
• Mindset: Fixed vs. Growth – Mr. Riley
• Study Skills: Study Smarter, Not Harder – Mr. Daniel
• Teen Job Prep: Getting Ready for the Workforce – Ms. Poust

BAHS thanks the community partners in attendance at the event:
• Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union – Education Department
• Huntington Learning Center
• Mathnasium
• HCPS Disabilities Commission
• Safe Harbor Counseling
• Harford Artists Association

Mr. Daniels informs attendees about research-based study strategies.

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