Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Students had the opportunity to show off their artwork, projects and classrooms to their parents at the Unified School District 207 Open House Nov. 15 at the post elementary schools.

The event, which has been hosted annually for more than 20 years, allows the students and teachers to showcase the work they’ve done so far during the schoolyear, said Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools.

“Students have a pride in their school and their classrooms, which includes the hard work they do on a daily basis,” he said. “The hope is that the students share this pride and joy in their school and provide another opportunity for parents to connect with the school.”

The projects the students showcased varied from school to school.

Eisenhower Elementary School students had leadership notebooks, which explain their academic goals and the progress they are making toward achieving the goals, said Cindy Wepking, Eisenhower principal.

“Our students not only learn at high levels academically, but they are learning to be leaders,” Wepking said. “I hope our parents notice the passion my teachers have to ensure all students learn and all students are cared for.”

Eisenhower students also shared their learning through PowerPoint presentations, Smart Board presentations and Chromebook activities.

Bradley Elementary School students built roller coasters to explain force and motion, created a scavenger hunt and made special art for their parents, said Michaela Culkin, Bradley principal.

“The open house gives our families the opportunity to celebrate public education and all those who support Bradley Elementary,” Culkin said. “I hope our Bradley community walks away having experienced all the great things our students and staff accomplish during the school day. We have amazing, hard-working students and staff, and it is great to see them show off their projects.”

Bradley parents Capt. Brian Alberts, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, and his wife, Kati Alberts, said they were glad the schools offered the event.

“I know with my schedule, it is not always easy to make a lot of the events that they have so it just gives us more opportunities to come see what the teachers are doing with the kids and what their schedule is like,” Brian Alberts said. “It just keeps us included, keeps us informed and that is really good as a parent. We’ve always stressed the importance of education in the house.”

“It gives the children chances to show everybody, too, because they’re just excited,” Kati Alberts added.

Bradley parent Maj. Wil Carnes, CGSOC student, said by attending the event, it shows his two children that he cares.

“I think it is important to let them know that we value hard work and effort, not so much grades,” he said. “As parents, (my wife and I) try to focus on not necessarily how good something looks, but the amount of effort that they put into it.”

Bradley parent Heather Daniel said attending the event not only is good for the students to see, but the teachers as well.

“It shows the teachers that they are getting parental support and that we want to be involved and we get to know each other personally,” Daniel said. “I think when you see what the expectations of the teacher are then as a parent you want to meet it and probably even try to exceed it.

“The other thing is you get to see the kind of curriculum they have or the artwork and also what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to work on,” she said. “Our family has looked forward to (the open house) because this was the first time we were living on post and so it was our first time that we saw what it was like on an on-post school. Our expectations were met and exceeded.”

Mispagel said he appreciates the support from the community.

“We hope to make each schoolyear a positive memory for the students and their parents, whether they are here for one year or for many years,” he said. “Education should be engaging, scholarly and fun … We know and understand our students will do great things in their lives and we want to give them the skills to pursue greatness.”