back-to-school night

Why YOU Should Attend Your Child’s Back-to-School Night

Getting ready for a new semester can be tedious. You’ve got to take your child back to school shopping, you need to get them all the right textbooks, and you need to make sure they know how to get to all their classes.

Amidst all the craziness, attending your child’s back-to-school night or elementary school open house is probably the absolute last thing you want to do. We know it could be annoying, but we’d say you should tough it out and go.

“Why?” you ask, puzzled.

Well, as it turns out, there are actually a lot of unexpected benefits that come from attending back to school night. Read on to find out why you should attend your child’s back-to-school night!

What exactly is back-to-school night?

Back-to-school night is an event put on by most elementary, junior high, and high schools which typically takes place a couple of days before school starts or during the first week of school.

At an elementary school open house, parents are given the opportunity to meet their children’s teachers, meet the school’s principal and other faculty, check out the school’s facilities, and learn a little more about what the school has to offer.

Reasons to attend an elementary school open house of back-to-school night

We know what you’re thinking. You can just talk to your child’s teacher via email and learn all this stuff on the school’s website. 

Yes, that’s true for the most part–but there are some benefits you will only receive if you actually go to your child’s back to school night.

It’s important to get to know your child’s teacher

At the elementary school open house you’ll have the chance to shake hands with your child’s teacher, get to know them, and exchange emails. You may not realize, but having a healthy relationship with your child’s teacher really goes a long way.

If you get to know them, they’ll feel more comfortable emailing you if your child is struggling in class, and they may even be willing to privately tutor your child.

If you attend the back-to school night, your child’s teacher will see that you truly care about your child’s education, especially if you go out of your way to get to know them.

You’ll learn about the curriculum

One of the main reasons why schools hold back to school night is because they would like to share the curriculum that their institution adopts. By learning about their curriculum, you will be able to guide your child better on his lessons and you’ll have time to figure out his learning style.

Unlike parents who don’t have any idea what their child is learning from school, you can develop study tips that your child will find useful since you know exactly what they’re discussing at school.

It’s your chance to meet the other parents

Meeting the parents of your child’s classmates is advantageous. Why?

Once there are lessons that your child wasn’t able to understand, you can call and ask for help from other parents. If your child has been absent due to unavoidable reasons, you can also ask the other parents if they can share the notes of their child. This way, you are not only gaining connections but also helping out your child to be better at school.

You’ll get to see the resources of the school and classroom

Have you ever wondered what your child’s school’s library is like? Now’s your chance to find out!

Attend the elementary school open house and you’ll get to see everything, including the library, gym, multi-purpose room, cafeteria, front office, and your child’s classroom.

You may enter your child’s classroom to find out that your teacher has a huge supply of arts and crafts, and that you don’t need to buy your child a brand new box of crayons and colored pencils! Similarly, you may find out that the book your child has been begging you to buy for them is available at their school’s library for check-out.

Attending back to school night holds the school accountable

Looking for a way to improve your child’s school? Attend elementary school open house!

Just think about it; if no one attended this event, then your child’s school would have no reason to improve itself. By attending back-to-school night, you’ll be doing your part as a devoted parent by holding the school accountable.

This event is likely to have an assembly with all the parents and faculty. This is the perfect opportunity to bring up any concerns you may have! Don’t like the school’s lunch options? Complain! Your complaint is likely to get some sort of response.

Attending back to school night sends a message to your child

Does your child sometimes see you as a pushover? Want to show them that you mean business? The attend back to school night.

By taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this event, you’re showing your child that you’re showing them you’re willing to play an active role in their education which is a great way to motivate a teenager to do better!

What to expect at back-to-school night


Schools usually schedule the event for a weekday evening within a month of the first day of school.


You’ll be able to meet your child’s teachers and aides, the principal, nurse, and other staff members, and of course your fellow parents. Unless otherwise specified, this is an adults-only night, so book a sitter.


The evening typically begins with an introduction in the auditorium or gymnasium. Then you’ll separate into groups and spend the evening with your child’s teacher(s).


The event gives you a glimpse of your child’s daily life at school and an opportunity to learn about the curriculum. You can also sign up to join the PTA or other parent groups.


Research shows that parent involvement in schools helps students achieve more and schools thrive. And joining the PTA is a great way to have a voice in school issues and decisions.


If we haven’t convinced you to attend your child’s back-to-school night yet, let’s do a recap of all the reasons you should attend back to school night:

  1. It’s important to get to know your child’s teacher.
  2. You’ll get to see the school’s resources and your child’s classroom.
  3. You’ll learn about the curriculum.
  4. It’s your chance to meet the other parents.
  5. You’ll hold the school accountable.
  6. You’ll send a message to your child.

Have you ever been to your child’s back-to-school night? How was it? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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5 years ago

So hold on, not attending a night that could be figured out elsewhere makes a bad parent?

Diwakar Nag
Diwakar Nag
7 years ago

You find out what is expected from your child during the course of the year. Different teachers have their own way of teaching. Many times what you expect from the child may be different from what teacher expects. I have seen it happening many times in middle school and high school.

Laura Petersen
Laura Petersen
7 years ago
Reply to  Diwakar Nag

Very true. It is important to make sure you and your student understands each teacher’s expectations. Plus keeping the line of communication open is a huge benefit to all!