From Open House to Exhibition Night

Last Wednesday I drove down to San Jose, California to attend an event at Katherine Smith Elementary School. It was a warm May evening. The parking lot was filling fast, parents and children were walking in, welcome banners were posted on the wall. Classroom doors were open and teachers were awaiting visitors. So far, this sounds like a good old-fashioned Open House, right?

But actually it was “Exhibition Night,” where each grade from kindergarten to 6th had what the program called “Project Based Learning Showcases: Every Student in Every Classroom.” Families, community members, and special guests (such as the Evergreen School District Superintendent and other administrators, plus a representative of the Chamber of Commerce) spent two hours hearing students make presentations and having us take part in activities based on recent projects.