New Parents Get Involved at Orientation and Breakfasts with the President
New students hear the refrain “Get Involved!” constantly in their first days as Blue Jays. Parents of new students who attended the Breakfast with the President events or the New Parent Orientation heard the very same message. The breakfast receptions took place in St. Ignatius Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 21 – Thursday, Aug. 23, while the orientation night was held on the evening of Wednesday, August 22.
The Breakfasts with the President started each morning at 7:45 a.m. In addition to enjoying a delicious breakfast spread, new parents had the opportunity to socialize with other parents and hear about all the good things happening at their sons’ new school. Fr. Christopher Fronk, S.J., welcomed parents by thanking them for entrusting Jesuit with the education of their sons. He spoke about the updates to the facilities that took place over the summer and shared his vision for where Jesuit it heading. Tom Bagwill, Jesuit director of institutional advancement, then introduced the lineup of speakers.
Michael Varisco ’83, the Parents’ Giving Drive chairman, told parents how Jesuit changed his life and how the school’s commitment to affordability and socio-economic diversity will change the lives of their sons. Jeremy Reuther ’01 guided the parents through the school’s website, showing them how to quickly navigate to links, calendars, and event information. Sharon Hewlett, Jesuit’s director of information technology, gave a tutorial of Canvas, the school’s online platform that allows students and parents to track homework assignments, quiz and test dates, and academic progress. Pre-freshman guidance counselor Andrew Schiro told parents that he will be meeting with their sons at least once a quarter and more often for those who need extra attention. He relayed important tips for navigating high school, informed parents that their sons should spend about two hours nightly doing homework, and encouraged them to have their sons turn off cell phones when studying. Schiro also told parents about 8th grade gym night, the pre-freshmen retreat, and the summer trip that many 8th graders will take to San Antonio.
In the auditorium on Wednesday night, guidance director Mary Favalora reiterated Mr. Schiro’s secrets to success, driving home the importance of balancing academics with opportunities outside of the classroom, including athletics, clubs, and volunteer activities. Several other administrators, staff, and volunteers addressed parents at the New Parent Orientation and Mini-Schedule. Speakers gave parents an idea of what to expect and how to get the most out of their sons’ first year as a Blue Jay.
Following the presentation, parents had the opportunity to spend five minutes in a “mini-schedule” of their sons’ classes to meet teachers and learn about course work for the upcoming year. In the commons for a post-orientation reception, parent and alumni volunteers also spoke about how to get involved and support Jesuit through the Parents’ Giving Drive, Celebration, and the Blue Jay Bazaar.