School Welcomes Parents to Campus

This past weekend, Lawrenceville hosted its annual Parents Weekend, an event which brings nearly 90 percent of Lawrenceville families to campus.

This past weekend, Lawrenceville hosted its annual Parents Weekend, an event which brings nearly 90 percent of Lawrenceville families to campus. Over the course of the weekend, parents had the opportunity to attend teacher conferences, information sessions on a diverse array of topics, athletic events, and this year’s Fall Musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Segmented into 10-minute blocks, conferences allowed family members to discuss student performance with teachers and advisors while introducing them to each class’s curriculum. According to Instructional Services and Engagement Librarian Autumn Sinai, it is crucial for parents to “develop a relationship early on.” Additionally, by October, “students are already in the routine,” so parents “can come back to get a feel of Lawrenceville in the midst of the school year,” Sinai said.

The School also organized specific activities for parents pertaining to various aspects of Lawrenceville life. On Friday and Saturday, IV Form parents were given the opportunity to meet with Co-Directors of College Counseling Holly Burks Becker and Jeff Durso-Finley, who covered the college admission and counseling process at Lawrenceville. Following this session, IV Form parents were given a college admissions update, a session during which relevant issues and questions were discussed, particularly regarding early applications. II and III Form parents also had a chance to meet with college counselors on Saturday to preview the process. Director of Sustainability Stephen Laubach, Director of Dining Services Gary Giberson H’11 P’10, and Big Red Farm Operations Manager Ian MacDonald introduced parents to the School’s Green Campus Initiative. Parents were led through the campus garden, Big Red Farm, and solar farm. They also discussed ongoing efforts to promote student involvement with campus-produced vegetables, sustainable meat, and renewable energy.

Lipi Zhang P’19 ’22 especially enjoyed this tour, saying that it opened her eyes to a “different part of Lawrenceville that [she] had previously not known about.”

Parents were also given the opportunity to learn more about the Harkness Travel Program including application procedures, curriculum expectations, and risk protocols. Other sessions for parents included an update on recent campus events led by Head Master Stephen S. Murray H’54 ’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21, “Navigating Through the Veracross Parent Portal,” and an alumni parent reception. Family members also gathered in the Kirby Arts Center for this year’s Periwig Club production, Sweeney Todd.

During Parents Weekend, the School displayed a variety of exhibits: For instance, the Stephan Archives showcased playwrights whose works have heavily impacted the Lawrenceville community and society as a whole. “Teaching & Trekking through the Tropics” featured 24 enlarged, full-color O’Keeffe-like images of new and thought-to-be-extinct flowering plant species in photographs taken in Ecuador and Cuba during the School’s annual student research Harkness Travel Trip. On the impact of Parents Weekend, Carina Li ’22 said that it fulfills its purpose, allowing for “parents and other family members to see the Lawrenceville community more in depth than in the admissions process or through a tour.” She added that she finds the weekend beneficial to student life because “more communication between parents and teachers… definitely improves the entire School atmosphere.”

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