NEWTON, NJ—The auditorium was packed as the parents of the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders who attend Halsted Middle School this year attended the annual Back to School Night event on Wednesday, September 12.

Teachers lined the auditorium walls as Kristi Greene, principal at Halsted and  Angela Dunbar, Vice Principal, introduced them to those in attendance and talked about their role within the school.

Upon arrival, attendees received a program outlining the night’s events, a floor map to navigate through Halsted, and their child’s schedule. The event ran from 7 until 9 p.m., with an eighth-grade parent meeting occurring before the night started.

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It was parents turn to follow a schedule:

  • 6:30-6:50: eighth Grade Parent meeting in Cafeteria
  • 7:00-7:15: Welcome in the auditorium by Greene & Dunbar
  • 7:15-7:20: Halsted Parent Group introductions
  • 7:20-7:30: Physical Education Presentation by Mr. Roe, Mrs. Roe, and Mrs. Williams

The welcome presentation included topics such as:

  • September being Attendance Awareness Month
  • Bring your parent to school Day (November TBD)
  • Safety precautions, counseling services available, the issue of no smoking on school grounds, and much more

The Physical Education Presentation discussed how Halsted is partnering with the New Jersey Department of Health in a four-year pilot program to strengthen NJ school district’s capacity to support and sustain healthy schools as well as what the students’ grade is based on throughout the school year.

After the bell rang, attendees were instructed to go to their first period class on their schedule. There were different tables for each grade lined up in the main hallway for those in attendance to get information from or sign up for things such as the Halsted Parent Group (HPO).

Teachers who taught specials classes were lined up in the Library so that those coming to the classes did not have to "go into the dungeons of Halsted”, Greene said.

Members of the Student Council and the National Junior Honor Society were also in attendance, volunteering for anyone who needed guidance in finding a class. Each “class” was seven minutes in order to fit everything into the two-hour event timeframe.

In the classrooms, attendees sat in the same chairs their children will be sitting in day after day for the entire 2018-2019 school year. The met with other students’ parents, while the teachers gave a short five minute presentation about the upcoming year.