The Long-Awaited Return of Parents’ Weekend


Courtesy of Groton Flickr

After a year-long hiatus from accepting visitors to campus openly, Groton is finally ready to welcome families back to campus for this year’s Parents Weekend. Though some changes have been necessary to adapt to a dynamic Covid-19 situation (coupled with the likelihood of rain throughout the weekend), it has been a relief to all to revive the longstanding tradition connecting parents to the community.

Last year’s decision to make Parents Weekend virtual was extremely difficult, explained Groton’s director of parent programs Kim Gerighty. Modifications included only providing parent-advisor conferences on Zoom and pre-recording the annual Parents Weekend concert.

Last year’s Parents Weekend lacked the physical connections fostered within the Groton community. “It’s a really important time for parents and families to come back to campus to see their children’s firsthand experiences and live through them themselves,” said Ms. Gerighty. Therefore, a great effort has been made to return to a more traditional Parents Weekend this year.

Requiring vaccines for all eligible visitors, Groton is welcoming all family members to campus under current Covid-19 protocols on campus: masked indoors, maskless outdoors, and encouraged to stay outside as much as possible. To facilitate this, the majority of events throughout the weekend were initially intended to be held outdoors, including faculty conferences, meals, and receptions. However, due to the possibility of rain, a number of events will instead be moved indoors, including the Parents’ Weekend performance, religious services, and college counseling information sessions. 

All events held in previous years will be revived this year. The parent-teacher conferences will happen from Thursday to Saturday. On Friday and Saturday, various information sessions will be available to families, including an overview of the counseling department, Groton college counseling, and an international parents reception. In addition, open houses will be held for Friday religious services, as well as form-based parent receptions and the Parents Weekend performance (offered by the Orchestra, Choir, Jazz Band, Maqupellas, Dance Team, and Step).

While Groton is fortunate to open its campus to all families who would like to come, Ms. Gerighty reports that an estimated 10% of families will be unable to attend. Parents can sign up for a virtual Parents’ Weekend on Nov. 1.

As a product of meticulous planning, this year’s Parents’ Weekend is expected to bring back a tradition that connects our community and strengthens ties between families.