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27 May 2017
Zacahary Scalzitti (11) performs a monologue from the hit television series Breaking Bad during the fall coffeehouse. Families attending the open house were invited to attend the coffeehouse free of charge after touring the school facilities. Picture by K. Strimbu

Open House: Round One

Andrean’s first fall open house was held last Thursday during the theatre company’s coffeehouse and the volleyball game against Lowell. This event was the first of its kind for the school’s new student ambassador director, Janice Reynolds. “The main goal of this open house was to showcase the great things going on at Andrean High School, introduce our facility to prospective students and families, and also to help welcome those prospective families to our environment,” said Reynolds.

This first open house of the school year was much smaller than previous ones with about fifteen families coming for tours. “It was more personalized than other open houses I’ve been at due to the smaller size,” said student ambassador Abby Graegin (12). “I think it’s nice that there will be many open houses throughout the school year.”

As prospective students and their families pulled up into Andrean’s back parking lot, student ambassadors waited at Door M to direct visitors to the library. Each prospective student was then prompted to fill out a survey regarding their interests in Andrean. Many parents and prospective students talked to teachers and administration before they were led on individual tours by the student ambassadors. Ambassadors had a few speaking points at several spots along the tour, including some fast facts about the full-time nurse, the art program, and the athletic office.

Representative teachers from each of the of the main subjects—math, science, theology, social studies, English, foreign language, fine arts—were present to talk about the courses available for students to take. Families then returned to the library where Dr. Bonta gave a brief talk about his experiences with Andrean and addressed any questions or concerns.

After the open house, families were invited to attend either the fall coffeehouse or the volleyball game. “It was just a really nice environment to see our campus alive and what we do after school. It doesn’t end at 2:45 p.m., it keeps on going right into the evening,” said Reynolds.

While there were quite a few good things about this open house, there is always room for improvement. “We are having a follow up meeting after this one to determine what went well and to improve on anything we think we need to improve on for the future [while] keeping it in that smaller environment,” said Reynolds.

The student ambassadors also had some good feedback about how the open house could be improved. “I liked that [the tours] were shorter, but I wish we could have shown the guests more of our school,” said student ambassador Jenna Thomas (11). “The hallways were very empty feeling and that is not how Andrean feels on an actual school day.”

One of the suggestions for improvement was to have more faculty and ambassadors present. “I think that it is important for the visitors to see and meet with the teachers and ask them questions if necessary. More teachers would make the hallways seem less lonely too,” said Thomas.

Reynolds said she is planning to have more ambassadors on hand during the upcoming open houses. She plans on emailing ambassador applicants within the next few weeks in order to be ready for the next open house on Thursday, October 6, at 6:00 p.m.