The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Parent Night Welcomes Attendees With a Look Into Gables

The information available throughout the cafeteria’s tables lured parents in for a session of questions. (Courtesy of Griffin Byrd)

The transition between middle school and high school can be a difficult journey for both parents and students as they change campuses, programs and teachers. To help ease this process, on the night of Nov. 29, Coral Gables Senior High hosted its annual Parent Night from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Throughout the evening administration, academy leaders and students stood ready for inquiries made by attendees who were curious about Gables’ offers.

From 5 to 6 p.m. Gables introduced the magnet academies, electives and classes available to future Cavaliers and their parents in the 6000 cafeteria. Walking through the cafeteria doors, parents were handed informational pagers as they got a view of booths, posters and more.

Introducing the definition of electives and their availability in a Cavalier’s schedule, Mr. Ullivari clarified the difference between a core class and a selected subject. (Courtesy of Griffin Byrd)

Each academy had a table present with respective students and administration equipped with knowledge and experiences, as well as informational posters and exemplary accomplishments. Those present were able to answer the questions of curious parents and eighth graders, while providing a personal opinion on their journey. Showcasing published works and award-winning ideas from Cavaliers, Gables displayed their spirit and pride in all aspects of excellence.

As attendees poured out of the cafeteria’s doors, they were either guided towards the auditorium for the International Baccalaureate presentation or pointed towards the 9000 cafeteria for the Academy of Finance presentation.

As IB parents took up their seats inside the auditorium, attendees were received by Ms. Van Wyk, Gables’ IB Coordinator and IB Executive Council members. An initial speech from Ms. Van Wyk gave parents an introduction to both the program’s requirements and success in Gables. The previously-prepared powerpoint served as the foundation throughout the showcase, as it slowly introduced differing student testimonials. These student-led speeches gave parents a look into a Cavalier’s reasoning for initially choosing Gables’ IB program over that of other school and Cambridge programs offered.

President of IB Executive Council, IB senior Dominique Dujarric gave a testament of her path managing the curriculum with the help of Gables’ support system. (Courtesy of Griffin Byrd)

“We wanted parents to know that within IB a lot of people know each other and within that, we all help each other. We all know IB is hard, but when you are doing it with somebody, it is not as bad. Yes, everybody is competitive, but we are trying to show you that we are here to help you. We can come together and commiserate with each other,” junior Michelle Hernandez said.

Both the program’s academy leader and its executive council highlighted the support system present for those in IB and debunked the myth of desperation within the program, thanks to the presence of study groups and class-cooperation. When introducing attendees to the structure of the IB curriculum, the speakers pointed out the array of both Honors, Pre-IB and actual IB classes Gables offers, as well as the path a student in the program travels through to receive their diploma. Both IB Executive members and IB students presented their own experiences taking their respective classes, giving insight on the program’s educators, subject-selection and in-class experiences.

“I told [the parents] that I picked Gables mainly because of inspiration from my sister, who graduated and is successfully studying law in a college in New York. Seeing her experiences made me want to be in a similar environment, one that would push me to be the person I am today,” junior Mia McLean said.

Inside the 9000 cafeteria, parents were greeted by Ms. Hernandez, AOF’s Lead Teacher and the Parent Teacher Student Association, who had prepared a presentation for all attendees. The powerpoint informed them on the benefits and uniqueness of AOF, which was described as a flexible and creative program.

Ms. Hernandez emphasized the theme of “fitting in” a program with a different outlook than others offered at Gables. Whether students and their parents looked for more challenging Honors and AP classes or a paced, standard-level schooling, they could find both within AOF.

“And I keep saying that word ‘fit’ because it’s so important. We talked about the opportunities for the kids; you have your AOF classes, you also have your electives; you have more options for [students] in AOF. You can be part of the C3 program…which is the Cavaliers Conquer College, where you get your associate’s degree in three years. And that’s something pretty much exclusive to AOF,” Ms. Hernandez said.

During the AOF presentation, Ms. Hernandez expanded on topics that she had already warmed parents up to during the Magnet Fair. From state-wide winning ideas to class requirements, she covered the basic introductory points for interested attendees. (Courtesy of Griffin Byrd)

Diving deeper into the academy’s requirements, Ms. Hernandez expanded on the internship required during junior year, a topic that interested many parents. She focused on the vision for Cavaliers, not just during their high school years, but after them. Throughout her presentation, Ms. Hernandez introduced the PTSA, and their dedication during Give Miami Day to raise funds for Gables’ media center.

“[The PTSA] talked about how they support the school and how they supported the media center, also because they raised almost $12,000 treats… I’m very excited. And we talked about the vision of what that space is going to be. It’s a shared vision between the faculty, the staff and the students. It’s not just my space, but it’s also their space, and I am just the curator of that space,” Ms. Hernandez said.

After both academies’ presentations came to a close at 7 p.m., attendees were guided through Gables through a tour led by Student Activities members. Placed strategically in groups of three around the school, Cavaliers took parents on trip around the entire school, walking up and down stairs, in and out of hallways.

As they viewed the school’s design, parents were free to ask questions, now more extensive in their reach, about clubs, sports and teachers. Students answered, offering their own involvement’s knowledge and experiences to the attendees’ listening ears.

When they had finished scouting the campus in 30-45 minutes, accompanied by a younger generation, the parents were led to the school’s open exits. Hoping to leave a mark on both parents and what could be a generation of future Cavaliers, Parent Night was brought to an end. Leaving the campus with a newfound understanding of Gables’ academies, electives and ground, parents would go on to consider their options in deciding their child’s future.

Academy Requirements
International Baccalaureate

As an global program established in 140 countries around the world, Gables' IB strives to develop internationally-minded studies who carry the qualities of inquiry, knowledge, communication, open-mindedness and reflectiveness. Through a diverse curriculum and structure, the program's purpose in shaping students for academic opportunity and depth of learning.

  • A minimum of 2.5 Grade Point Average in each core academic subject area for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.
  • A minimum of 2.0 GPA in conduct for the core academic subject areas for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.
  • All effort grades in core academic classes must be a “two” or higher for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.
  • No more than 10 unexcused absences for the previous year and five unexcused absences for the first semester of the current year.
  • Physical Science Honors and Algebra I Honors completed before the next school year begins.

Applications for incoming eight-graders:


Academy of Finance

Throughout their four years in the academy, AOF students study a career-focused curriculum. Through work on collaborative projects, Cavaliers gain critical career knowledge, such as work-based learning, business management, accounting and ethics. Students participate in job shadowing, mock interviews, resumé writing workshops and cap their experience off with a paid internship

  • 2.0 GPA in core academics and a 2.0 in conduct
  • 2.5 GPA is required to stay in the program.
  • No more than 10 unexcused absences or tardies for the previous academic year.

Applications for incoming eight-graders:

About the Contributor
Marina Astorga, CavsConnect News Editor
As a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program, Marina Astorga is excited to come back to CavsConnect for her second year in the publication. This year, she will return as News Editor and hopes to grow both as a person and a student. Marina has a special interest in journalism, chemistry and reading. She makes it a point to be involved in Gables, holding board positions on the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Key Club. Outside, she can be found playing volleyball, skateboarding or riding her bike. During her free time, she enjoys rating new restaurants, reading murder mystery books and coming up with her own recipes. She is known to make dumb jokes and act as her friend's personal esthetician. When summertime finally comes, she goes back to Spain to visit her family and friends.
Leave a Comment
Donate to CavsConnect

Your donation will support the student journalists of Coral Gables Senior High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to CavsConnect

Comments (0)

The CavsConnect staff encourages comments and conversation on all of our content. We reserve the right to remove comments that are vulgar, rude, hurtful, or unrelated to the topic.
All CavsConnect Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *