BUCKFIELD — Courtney Lowell showed her mother, Michele, the gourd “cave” she helped build. Math teacher Annette Caldwell spoke to a group of parents about the eighth-grade fundraising plans for the year. And Kim Eastman used the time to meet some of her son’s teachers.

It was the annual open house at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School on Thursday.

A variety of meetings and discussions took place throughout the school, ranging from fundraising and laptop agreements to changes in scheduling and efforts for more parental involvement.

Dan Allen, a literacy specialist, said the school is trying to encourage more parents to take part in the school and their child’s activities.

“We’re trying to get a larger parent component. They could do anything from volunteering to working with the garden,” he said.

The garden is a big thing at the school. Tomatoes, pumpkins, broccoli and a variety of other fruits and vegetables are grown by students. New this year is a gourd “cave.”

A stick built hut is covered with gourd vines, with dozens of both large and small gourds hanging from the “ceiling.” Courtney Lowell helped cut some of the small branches from adjacent school property for the cave.

“We’ll probably sell some at the school vegetable stand,” she said. “It’s been fun.”

Eighth-graders Evan Lucas and Jake Dobson were seated in a small alcove off the corridor, waiting for their parents to finish attending their class meeting.

“We got a lot of good information,” said Evan’s mother, Janie Lucas.

Seventh-grader Noah Patenaude and his brother, sophomore Armand Patenaude, were showing their parents, Anthony and Valerie, their classrooms and attending the two class meetings.

This is Noah’s first year at the school and he said he is thrilled with it.

“It’s a lot better than elementary school. The water is better, the food is better, and we have a better schedule,” he said.

One of the primary purposes for meetings of advisers, students and parents, was to discuss fundraising activities for the upcoming school year.

Janet Martin, senior class adviser, said the agenda includes raising money for the senior class trip and Project Graduation.

The parents of eight-graders met with teacher Annette Caldwell who spoke about plans for a coin drive, a magazine drive, a calendar drive, and the annual harvest supper which is scheduled for Oct. 8. Much of the food served at the supper was raised in the school garden and proceeds went to a family in need of help during last year’s event.

Prior to the open house, parents who had not yet learned about the laptop computer usage policy by their children had a chance to attend a workshop. An agreement must be signed before a child can take a laptop home.

Laptop computers became available for all students in grades 7-12 when the Buckfield/Nezinscot region joined with Western Foothills Regional School Unit #10.

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