Students congregate at Union Grove High School as they take part in the school’s Open House event Thursday.
McDONOUGH — Jen Keomanyvanh is a self-motivated student.
Her mother, Liz Keomanyvanh, said the 10-year-old needs only a little encouragement to strive for greatness in academics. However, her daughter acknowledged a bit of hesitation during Thursday’s Open House event at Henry County Middle School in McDonough as prepares for the upcoming school year at a new school.
“[I am] a little excited, but a little nervous,” said the younger Keomanyvanh. “I’m afraid how it will turnout.”
“I’m nervous for her to come to a new school, but change is good,” added her mother. “It’s good to be challenged. And I think we’re ready. She’s ready.”
The mother and daughter joined hundreds that turned out to the school, and thousands that attended Open House events throughout Henry County.
At Henry County Middle, the pair were introduced to Keomanyvanh’s teachers for the 2012-13 school year. One of them was sixth-grade math and science teacher, Carla Robinson, who previously taught Keomanyvanh’s brother, Alec.
“I promise to look after them like they are my own,” said Robinson. “And I’m going to teach them like I would want mine to be taught. I’m going to protect them as my own as well.”
Most parents spend about 20 minutes familiarizing themselves with faculty and staff at the elementary school level, according to Anne Wilson, principal of Unity Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove.
Wilson’s K-5 school — a feeder school to nearby Locust Grove Middle School — is projected to enroll at least 750 students this school year, its 11th year open. It has staff and faculty of 53 educators.
Wilson said hundreds of families dropped in for Thursday’s Open House event. She said that, at her school, there is about an 85 percent participation rate among families.
“Parents want to meet their child’s teacher for the upcoming school year,” Wilson said. “Open House allows them to become more comfortable sending their students to school that first day, and it helps parents start relationships with their teachers. Relationship-building is key.”