Discover New Hope 2016
Last night, we had our annual open house, Discover New Hope. For years, we have met every year in the spring to present the final schedule to parents, welcome new families considering New Hope, and showcase all that is coming up for the next academic year. Over the years the format has changed significantly as our organization has grown. In the early days, all our tutors simply got up in front of families and talked about what they were planning on teaching. The Director would address the assembled families about what New Hope was, and the schedule was still being formed, not to be finalized until the summer.
But now that we have between 15 and 20 teachers every year and far more demands on an ever-expanding schedule, that format does not work. So instead, we have an hour-long "welcome" session for new parents followed by a couple hours of an open house for both new and returning families. This year, we met with new folks from 6-7, then had the open house from 7-9. There was food provided throughout the evening, as well as free childcare.
In the welcome session for new families, Chris Westrate, our Director, along with several staff members spoke with ten new families about:
- what New Hope is and how our model is unique in the education world of the North Shore,
- broadly what they can expect from a partnership with New Hope,
- what the year looks like, including student events, registration deadlines, and fundraising, and
- highlights of the major areas of our curriculum at the middle and high school level.
The open house, which ran from about 7-9, was an opportunity for instructors to showcase their courses and meet with current and prospective families. It has always been an event for the whole family, and indeed we encourage parents to attend with their kids. While childcare was provided, most families chose to "stick together" as they made their rounds through the hall to see what was on tap for next year.
As you can see from the photos, most tutors had display boards of some sort, along with books, handouts, other sorts of visuals, and in some cases, finger food! The overall room had the look of a science fair, with people milling around and the energy levels high. Among other things, tutors talked with prospective parents and students about:
- why they love their discipline and how they communicate that joy to young people,
- what the book/materials list is expected to be (at least major texts),
- the types of assignments students would complete throughout the year, and
- where their course fits in an overall curriculum.
Above photo gallery credit student Davey Walters.