Elkin schools hold open house night

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

August 27, 2013

Students got a first look at who will be teaching them in the 2013-14 school year Thursday night.

All three of the Elkin City schools — the high school, middle school, and elementary schools — held open houses Aug. 22 to allow parents and children to visit the schools and speak to their teachers before classes start Aug. 26.

The informal parent-teacher conferences gave parents a chance to hear what would be expected of their children and to ask questions. New this school year is the STEAM initiative, a popular topic for the conversations.

The evening also gave students who are moving to a new building this year a chance to find out where their classrooms will be.

Kindergartners were treated to an appearance by Bucky, the school system’s mascot.

Timing of the three events allowed parents - and teachers - with students in different grades to visit all the different campuses.

Elkin High started its open house at 4 p.m. and ran till 6 p.m.

Elkin Elementary opened doors at 5 p.m. and ran until 7 p.m., and Elkin Middle closed out the evening from 6-8 p.m.

Elkin High and Elkin Elementary did not have an introductory meeting for attendees, but Elkin Middle started at 6 p.m. in the high school’s Dixon Auditorium with a speech by Principal Pam Colbert.

Colbert welcomed the new faces coming up from the elementary school this fall and explained to everyone a bit more about STEAM.

STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics - represents a shift in Elkin’s teaching methods in response to employers’ comments on the quality of graduating students.

STEAM will teach students from elementary through high school to work in groups, think outside the box of “one right answer,” and create projects that are both instructive and worth keeping.

Gone are the days of doing projects simply to throw them away as soon as they are graded and returned, Colbert said. Students will instead create projects that can be used as a sort of portfolio.

The open house was well attended, particularly the elementary school with its larger number of grades. The media center there was transformed into a hub for car riders to pick up information about their transportation arrangements and for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to talk to students.

Even students who had a good grasp on where their new classrooms would be and what their teachers would be like got to see how the schools had changed over the summer.

For students returning to the elementary school, for instance, they could visit Debbie Horton’s classroom.

Horton decorated her classroom in “Despicable Me” minions when that film was released two years ago.

With the release of “Despicable Me 2” Horton’s sister created Styrofoam and paper minions to redecorate and recapture the students’ imaginations when they return to school for the year.

To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.