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Sierra, East Union latest to provide quick overview
Sierra High principal Steve Clark talks with parents during Wednesdays Back to School Night. - photo by HIME ROMERO

For the better part of the past decade, Sondra Berchtold has attended her fair share of Back to School Nights.

She’s the mother of five children currently in Manteca Unified. Her three younger ones are at French Camp School – that’s where Berchtold served as a parent liaison – while Madison and Wyatt are a junior and sophomore, respectively, at East Union High. Her oldest is in college.

She and her husband, Steve, always make time for Back to School Night.

But this one was different. East Union and French Camp both scheduled their Back to School Nights on Thursday.

Sondra Berchtold opted for East Union. “We get to meet the teachers and support our kids,” she said.

In some cases, students received extra credit as an attendance incentive.

According to activity director Jenaia Cano, parents went from classroom to classroom, meeting teachers and learning about their expectations under an abbreviated schedule of their student.

Prior to that, parents and students gathered in quad for a selection of food – senior class sold pizza, juniors offered up snow cones, sophomores prepared nachos, and freshmen provided soda or water as fundraisers – along with some entertainment compliments of the EU band prior to the classroom visits.

“It’s a (Back to School Night) tradition,” Cano said.

Sierra has a tradition of its own.

Rather than classroom visits, instructors gather in the large gym and cafeteria, meeting each parent for a few minutes on a one-on-one basis.

“I think it works out good for both parents and teachers,” said math instructor Matt Anderson. “It’s convenient.”

He’s been at Sierra for over 10 years, spending his earlier years at Joseph Widmer School in Lathrop.

“We had classroom visits (for Back to School Night) at Widmer,” recalled Anderson, who teaches calculus and statistics.

He had about 10 parents stop by early on.

In the foyer, Manteca Unified’s Indian Education program, Sober Grad, Lobo Gold, and spirit wear set up shop to answer questions, accept donations, or selling goods.

Counselors were also available to meet with parents and discuss class schedules along with future plans.