Secondary Schools Host Annual Open House

Greeting parents at open house

Killeen ISD high schools and middle schools conducted their annual start-to-school open houses this week, welcoming family members in to tour classes and meet teachers.


At Killeen High School, teachers said the relationship with parents is an important one.


“It’s helpful for us,” said Larry Arnett, an algebra teacher in his 18th year at KHS. “It’s nice to see parents, to meet them. It can set the tone for a positive relationship.”


High school teachers acknowledged that the dynamic of involvement is different with teenagers than it is with elementary-age students, but no less important.


Very often, said Arnett, parents respond to his messages through email, establish a dialogue and communicate that way.


“I have lots of emails already,” he said. “It opens whole dialogues with parents.”


While parents of high school students want to back away from direct involvement to give their sons and daughters a measure of freedom, almost always, they are happy to respond when teachers reach out.


“I’d say 95 percent of the time when I make contact with a parent, it is a positive outcome.”


In her fourth year of teaching, KHS Spanish teacher Daisy Garcia has seen much the same kind of response.


“It’s a relationship – parent and teacher,” she said. “It’s good for me when they have my back.”


Some students, Garcia said, act differently at school and at home, so comparing notes with parent is helpful for all.


It’s the fourth week of school, about halfway through the first grading period.

Palo Alto MS open house


Palo Alto Middle School AVID teacher Shatira Harris led students and their parents to various clusters of desks to complete challenges and answer questions – would you rather be able to fly or to be invisible?


The AVID teacher said she wanted parents to know their students have a safe learning environment to learn and grow and to express themselves.


“Their students are getting lifelong lessons here,” she said. “They are learning to be career ready and college ready.”


She also said she wanted parents to see their sons and daughters are in good hands, getting prepared for high school and beyond.


Part of Harris’ teaching, she said, is to share her own journey. She was an aide in KISD 13 years before becoming a classroom teacher three years ago. Last year, she earned Palo Alto’s Teacher of the Year honor and was a KISD secondary teacher of the year finalist.


“One of my goals this year is to increase parent involvement,” she said.


Elementary schools hosted the annual Meet the Teacher on Aug. 10, four days before the first day of school.

Killeen ISD high schools conducted their annual start-to-school open houses Tuesday, welcoming family members in to tour classes and meet teachers.