High spirits as Parents Weekend returns to in-person

After a long hiatus during which King’s Academy parents and families were unable to visit campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the excitement was palpable at school as faculty and parents finally met face-to-face during Fall Parents Weekend on October 21 and 22.

“Our parents are our most important partners in the education of our students,” says Head of School Peter Nilsson. “It was excellent after almost two years to be able to meet together in person again.”

Fall Parents Weekend began on Thursday with Upper School parents invited to attend classes with their children throughout the day, while at the Middle School parents participated in the Celebration of Learning event. Spirits continued to be high as parents joined the community for an outdoor lunch in Refectory Square. After lunch, a friendly football match took place between parents, faculty, students and alumni followed by a barbeque.     

Fall Parents Weekend

“Parents were extremely excited to join their children in the classrooms,” says Dean of Students Alex Funnell who noted that around 100 parents took part in class visits. “It was wonderful to have them there, to be part of the action, to see how we function and how students learn and perform.”

At the Middle School’s Celebration of Learning, almost 100% of parents were in attendance. Dean of the Middle School Zina Nasser explained how they wanted to take parents on a journey, thus creating “parent passports” with students leading the way to demonstrate their growth and mastery of subjects.

“We wanted parents to get a feel for what we learn and how we learn it,” says Nasser, “so instead of sitting through a class for an hour, they had this passport and had to pass by all of these stops and get them stamped.”

Guided by their children, Middle School parents dropped into every class where they had three activities to do: a prompt whereby parents ask students something about the course, a joint activity, such as an experiment, that they conduct together, and a show and tell where students share some of their work.

Fall Parents Weekend

The Celebration of Learning also included a science exhibition where eighth graders displayed atomic models they created using recycled or environmentally friendly materials and seventh graders demonstrated investigation and research skills they have developed. Students taking the Creative Writing Workshop also launched their first magazine, while parents sat in on Reading and Writing Workshops and toured the Middle School, including a colorful “virtual bookshelf” wall displaying all of the books that students have read so far this year.   

On Friday, Head of School Peter Nilsson welcomed parents on campus with a breakfast reception at the Abu Ghazaleh Courtyard before parents, teachers, advisors and students set off for parent-teacher conferences. After another lunch together on campus, parent-teacher conferences began online for those parents out of the country or who couldn’t make it in person.   

“Everything we do at King’s is a relationship between students and parents,” says Funnell, “we strive to form really strong relationships with parents as well as students, so Fall Parents Weekend has given us a fantastic opportunity to connect with them. After being apart for so long, it was no longer through a screen. It was a really positive environment, and the care and concern from both parents and faculty was amazing.”

  • Celebration of Learning
  • Parents Weekend