Day of deja vu for 300 parents

first_imgSTEVENSON RANCH – First period for Moji Azamian on Thursday was P.E., where she dodged the teacher at first to avoid changing into a gym uniform. And when she heard that a game of volleyball was in store, she gasped. “I hope they don’t make me play,” she said teasingly as she glanced at her sandals and blue-painted toenails. The 42-year-old Azamian was one of about 300 parents sitting in algebra, Spanish, art and other classes along with their freshman and sophomore teens at West Ranch High School. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week During Parent Shadow Day, mom and dad experienced a few hours in the life of their kids, following their daily schedules, taking math quizzes, writing English essays. It was the premiere of such a day at the school where doors first opened this fall. For 58-year-old Edwin Biggs, it meant stepping onto a soggy playing field at 8:30 a.m. with son Adon, 14, for marching band practice – usually a two-hour feat, but because it was a minimum day, class was 70 minutes. Trombone, saxophone and flute-playing students darted around the grass in choreographed moves, avoiding collisions with parents trying to keep up. As hard as they tried, though, parents were told to hustle and to move with their kids. Taking a breather from practice, Biggs said he’s watching his son mature from the boy he was just two years ago. “It’s fun to see him be disciplined and show us what to do,” Biggs said. “He’s correcting us: ‘No, Mom; no Dad, that’s not the way you do it.”‘ Standing on the sidelines, K.J. Biggs watched her ninth-grade son, who plays with the same trumpet that his father used for his high school marching band. She was enticed to come to school that day, in part to learn more about the school’s block schedule. With the schedule, students attend three 95-minute classes with courses alternating each day. So students could have math on Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week, then on Tuesday and Thursday the following week. The schedule allows for in-depth learning that doesn’t happen in the usual class period of about 55 minutes, said Debra Warren, assistant principal. West Ranch High School and Golden Valley High School are the only facilities using the block schedule in the William S. Hart Union High School District. For some parents, the day brought back memories from their teenage years. Many compared differences between high school then and now, such as the armed Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy strolling around on campus. Others asked why the school has no lockers. And what about the smoking area? Monica Schmidt, 40, recalled that an area by the bleachers at her former high school was where smokers hung out. Her parents didn’t know about her habit at the time. Because of her secret, the Castaic woman said she never would have wanted her parents to come to school for a day like this. “My daughter asked me if I’d bring my mother if I was in high school,” Schmidt said. “I said, ‘No way.”‘ Schmidt realized how times have changed when she asked her freshman daughter Taylor-Rae if West Ranch had a smoking area. The 13-year-old told her that if one ever existed, she’d petition to get rid of it. Sitting with friends during brunch, Christy Grajeda, 14, had mixed feelings about bringing her mom and dad to class this year. But next year, she’ll probably invite them. “They think that school is really easy, and it’s not that easy,” she said. “I want them to see that.” West Ranch started last year with only a freshman class. Students were taught inside portable classrooms on the Rancho Pico Junior High campus until construction for the new high school finished. Doors officially opened to the new building on Valencia Boulevard this school year, and a new freshman class was added to the campus. Sue Doyle,(661) [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more