Cooking demonstrations, dress-up contests, a putting green and dance routines are among the attractions planned Thursday as Golden Valley High School holds its annual Course Fair.
The 2,200-student campus on East Childs Avenue hopes to attract perhaps 80 percent of its students and a sizable number of parents as report cards are given out and information is dispensed about its programs.
"We are doing our best to attract students and parents," Tiffani Gong, Golden Valley associate principal in charge of activities, said. All of the school's 100 teachers and club representatives will be on hand from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the gym to showcase course options and give parents a chance to connect with their students' teachers and counselors.
Christy Lobao, associate principal in charge of guidance, said all academic departments will have some kind of interactive display of 10 to 15 minutes duration involving pertinent subject matter. They intend to show what instruction looks like in the classroom and give parents a vision of what courses their children should take.
For example, Lobao said, the home economics department will have a cooking demonstration, while the history department will have people guess who the costumed characters are.
Athletics department showcases will involve a hole-in-one putting contest and demonstrations on how to juggle a soccer ball. The Exquisite Dance Club will perform and Polynesian dancing is planned.
Various clubs will be offering food for sale and raffle prizes will be given out during the night. Seniors and their parents will receive an extra graduation ticket and freshmen through juniors will be able to attend a trick-or-treat session later with school staff.
Principal Constantino Aguilar said the Course Fair is an opportunity to showcase what's going on at the school. He wants to engage not just students but their parents as well in a positive environment.
"We welcome parents to meet in a different venue than parent-teacher conferences. It's an opportunity to meet face-to-face in a different setting," Aguilar said. "They can ask questions about programs, and this gives the student plenty of time to make decisions."
The Course Fair had been held in the spring, but that's much too late for students and parents to make informed decisions. It makes more sense to do the event now, Aguilar said.
Spanish and Hmong community liaisons will be on hand. They have placed fliers advertising the event this week at various Southeast Asian food stores and at Lao Family Community Inc.
Lobao said representatives of University of California campuses and Merced College will attend. She said the last time a course fair was held, the school had a full house all evening.
"We want to give parents an understanding of the courses their children could take," Lobao said. For those parents who don't have Internet access to the ARIES online grading system, the evening will give them a chance to pick up report cards.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at
(209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.