Next Thursday is a momentous occasion at Merced High School.
It's Report Card Night -- a chance for parents to pick up their children's first-quarter grades while meeting their teachers and counselors.
Merced High Principal John Olson expects 500 to 700 parents of the school's 2,808 students to attend Report Card Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium.
Some parents regularly monitor their children's grades online through the ARIES grade book system but will miss some valuable personal contact if they don't go to the meeting, Olson said. Teachers update students' progress, attendance and grades online weekly.
"We encourage parents to take a parent engagement survey about how they feel the school's doing," Olson said. "They will also get an update on how their students are doing."
Kay Malhi, associate principal for guidance, said Report Card Night is an excellent opportunity for parents to meet their student's teachers, discuss progress and meet the counselors. Spanish and Hmong translation will be available.
"It's face-to-face contact," Malhi said. "It's an opportunity to plan ahead. Parents of at-risk students are especially encouraged to attend. It's strengthening the relationship between parents and the school. We want the entire community to come out."
Representatives of Merced College, California State University, Stanislaus, and UC Merced will offer information, and some clubs also will be represented at the event.
Olson said parents not familiar with online grading features will learn about computer log-in and password features in the adjoining South Exercise Room. Parents without computers at home can log into the grading system at the school's Parent Support Center, Lao Family Community or other public computer access sites.
Only parents or guardians can pick up report cards. They will be available in the counseling office beginning from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 24.
Yia Lo, Hmong community adviser at the Parent Support Center, said about three-quarters of Southeast Asian parents take advantage of Report Card Night.
Malhi said Rosara Kovats and Lo will be available to translate for parents in Hmong and Spanish. They will also provide information on resources available to parents at the Parent Support Center, such as checking student grades and discipline, along with helping students toward success in high school and beyond.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at
(209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.