Back to virtual: Foothill Tech’s annual Back to School Night


Caroline Hubner

Principal Russel Gibbs gave an inspirational opening speech to kick off the event.

Caroline Hubner, Reporter

In-person school is back in session at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) and the annual tradition of Back to School Night is up and running once again. Unlike past years, the event was completely virtual to limit the spread and exposure of the COVID-19 virus. 

The Zoom meeting for the event began at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 and parents could join using the code (863 3476 9729) and password (Dragons) provided on the Foothill Tech website. Spanish interpretation was also available through the Zoom feature and narration done by Rogelio Ramirez. The link for the recorded session can be found here. 

The event commenced with a quick introduction from Principal Russel Gibbs who discussed Foothill Tech’s main goals for the year including the Associated Student Body’s (ASB) “Happiest School on Earth” motto. Senior class president Marina Wolowicz ‘22 also presented a slideshow outlining the program’s goal to make every student feel warm, welcomed and validated while on campus. 

Wolowicz reinforced the school’s wishes to prioritize student social and emotional wellbeing through bonding events including no Backpack Day, giveaways, Renaissance Rallies, water balloon tosses, freshman Start Strong rallies, senior picnic/panorama and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. 

Representatives from Ventura Unified School District (Ventura Unified) and Foothill Tech faculty made quick appearances to provide additional information and resources available to parents and students alike. Among those present were Superintendent Roger Rice, Velma Lomax, Amy Callahan and Foothill Tech Assistant Principals Katie Tedford and Frank Davis. 

Programs such as Yearbook, Bioscience and the Parent Faculty Student Organization (PFSO) were introduced and included the mention of yearbook purchase, the annual Bioscience blood drive and registration for PFSO membership. 

Principal Gibbs reminded participants of the open School Site Council parent position and the current election ballot found here

Prior to the live event, parents were encouraged to view the pre-recorded videos for their child’s teachers that became available on Monday, Sept. 20. These videos provided individualized messages for parents and discussed topics such as course material, expectations and teaching strategies. 

After the general seminar, parents could join teachers’ office hours from 7 – 8 p.m., using codes sent out prior to the event, to ask any general questions pertaining to their child’s class. Individual student questions are encouraged via email to ensure specific and confidential answers. 

New parents to Foothill Tech and/or Ventura Unified were also provided with a slideshow created by the administration that covers the basic aspects of school faculty, programs and procedures. 

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