Hill reimagines the Parents’ Weekend schedule


A side look at the Dell pond and the Dell Village with many ducks. Photo by Claire Wang ’24.

Schedule and activity

Instead of holding individual mini-classes as Hill did in the years prior to COVID-19, there will be an open house on Friday morning, Oct. 15, for this year’s Parents’ Weekend.

On Saturday, parents will have the chance to experience a series of academic samplers, where teachers have volunteered to teach sample lessons in larger places.

Students will be leading their parents through their academic day and introducing them to their teachers and coaches. Also, each parent will have the opportunity to attend Chapel and to have a college counseling session.

“Parents may not be able to see one of their children’s specific teachers, but they will see some of the excellence that happens here at Hill,” said Katy Hudak, the academic dean of The Hill School.


Things to be excited about

“There is so much to be excited about this year! This year is a totally new model for fall Parents’ Weekend,” said Lynda Hamilton-Kirk, the executive director of special projects. 

Hamilton-Kirk believed that the most fun part of this year’s Parents’ Weekend will be Saturday, because parents get to design their own program.

“We will have different Hill teachers, and we have six or five class options. Teachers, parents, students will have the chance to attend. They sort of design their own academic day. And the best part for the kids, they get to sleep in just like a normal Saturday!” 


How will parents be informed

Parents will receive an email invitation before the event. It has also been included as an announcement in Today on The Hill. 

“We expect around 300 guests but may be pleasantly surprised with more,” Shelley Baumgarten, the director of alumni and parent engagement, stated in an email. 


Purpose and importance

“I think it’s really important to pause and let parents know that they are welcomed. And they can see how things work here, and how their children’s time is spent, and try to forge a little bit of a relationship with their teachers,” Hudak said. 


The biggest challenge facing this year

“The biggest challenge we faced was providing opportunities for parents to experience The Hill while keeping them and our community safe. It is for this reason that we changed the format and are holding many of the events outdoors,” Baumgarten said. 


Message for students

“For students, my advice to them is just to be proud of their school, show parents, you know, every nook and cranny. Even with my sons attending class with them, even though I am here every day, I sort of miss the day-to-day, because I’m in my office. You may have a different take on things,” Hamilton-Kirk said.

Many faculty have put in a considerable amount of time organizing and planning Parents’ Weekend, which is a collaborative effort. Every member of the community is excited about this event and looks forward to the success of this event. 

“I just think it’s exciting that it’s been a while since we’ve been together as a community, and that in itself is really exciting,” Baumgarten said.