Why are back to school events so important? For starters, they can give students the inspiration they need to lift end-of-summer blues and find creative ways to make the most of the upcoming year. We believe academic success is as much about making those grades as it is enjoying education and receiving the right support from families and communities. We also believe in having a letting loose and having a little fun before it’s time to get serious again!
Every student, from the youngest to college-aged, needs something different to get back into the groove. Some younger and high school kids need more support from parent/teacher relationships. College students need creative inspiration and educational training for major projects, new ways to build on their talents and skills as they prepare to enter the professional world, and- let’s face it- a chance to get a little drunk here and there. Everyone needs organizational skills that help them manage often overwhelming amounts of school work with self-care and enjoyment.
We hope our diverse list of favorite Bay Area back to school events has a little bit of something for everyone!
1. Back-to-School with Tea Collection
The end of summer is always bittersweet. When it’s time to kiss the warm sun goodbye and assimilate back into a routine, most kids experience at least a little bit of anxiety and inertia. The Tea Collection has come up with a unique way to get kids from 8-16 back into the school spirit, or at jumpstart their creativity. At this special back-to-school evening, kids and teens are invited to create back-to-school inspiration boards.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of inspiration boards, which is sometimes called a mood board or idea board, is essentially a collage of images that inspire your muse. It’s a kind of visual brainstorm in which you come up with a concept or idea, and then add photos, magazine clippings, doodles, color samples, and text. (Text can include anything from inspirational quotes to poetry to interesting passages from books, ect.).
The pros at Tea Collection will be teaching kids all about how to make and use inspirational boards for anything they like. This isn’t some humdrum arts and crafts day you can find at your local library- hardly a draw for older kids and teens- but a learning experience from a professional design perspective. Kids will learn how designers use inspiration boards to get inspired about new projects and conceptualize visual ideas with a team or client during projects.
It’s not not only a valuable creative and organizational tool for future school projects, but an opportunity for kids to create something for their own personal enjoyment, such as a clothing design, an art project, or a new design for their room- the space where they will undoubtedly be doing a lot of their homework and in need of inspiration.
564 Hayes St., San Francisco, CA 94102
2. Northside Parenting Program: Maximizing Parent/Teacher Conferences
This free back to school event is happening this week, but you can still purchase a ticket online now (or enter onto a waitlist which gets priority when attendees either do not show up or show up ten minutes past the start time). It made our list because it presents an important agenda and takes an initiative to optimize parent/teacher communication from the start of the year. Based on feedback that the Northside Parenting Program received regarding parent-teacher conferences, back to school events, and open houses, this meeting will discuss how parents and teachers can work together to achieve better communication.
Although parent feedback suggests that conferences and open houses are exciting opportunities to engage with teachers and learn about their child’s school experience, they don’t always know what to ask.
At this comprehensive back to school event, Northside’s Parent Educator talks to parents about what questions to ask during parent-teacher conferences, how to help when children who are struggling with class and homework assignments, how to best utilize teachers’ constructive feedback, and what to do if a child is having problems or facing bullying situations with other students. The program also discusses other common issues, such as whether both parents should be at conferences, how parents who have to miss a conference can reschedule the time, and whether Skype or Facetime are viable options for working parents who cannot make scheduled meetings.
The Parent Educator will be sharing valuable information about what parents should be observing during open houses, the most effective ways to communicate with teachers, and how to best deal with and resolve parent/teacher disagreements.
We think this level of support for parents is an invaluable tool in the development of parent/teacher relationships, which are instrumental in the academic and personal growth of students at every age.
Tues., Aug. 20th, 2019
Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way
Santa Clara, CA, 95054
3. Back to School with L’Apero at ONE65
Here’s one for the college kids who need to let loose a little bit before a year of hard work and dedication begins! Guests are invited to dress in their finest “Mariniere” for an evening of cocktails and delicious food “Apero” style. Entry is only $35 and includes one cocktail, some scrumptious bite-sized appetizers by Chef Claude Le Tohic, and one gift box made by ONE65 to bring home. Every guest is also granted free entry into a raffle to win a free in-home wine tasting for eight by La Cave- and other fun prizes during the evening drawing. Throughout this fun French-themed evening, DJ Frenchy le Freak will be providing house music and entertainment to keep the mood alive well past happy hour.
Thurs., Aug. 29th, 2019
5:00- 11:30 P.M.
ONE65 San Francisco
165 Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
4. Back-2-School Project X
Let’s stay on the college track for a minute, because Back-2-School Project X is as wild and sexy as it sounds. Advertised on its event page as “a night you will never forget or a night you will never remember”, it’s anticipated to be one of the biggest parties Berkley has ever seen. Although this back to school event won’t hone any academic skills, it will send summer out with a satisfying bang. Ravers can rage to the best of EDM under bright lights until 2 A.M., and enjoy one last fantasy before the reality of school kicks all the way in. Obviously, this is a 21 or over party, as the dancing and drinking debauchery is bound to get a little “Project-X” rated.
This all-night dance party will be held at DNA Lounge, which has been one of San Francisco’s most popular nightclubs for over thirty years, so expect an electric atmosphere. Equipped with seven bars, four dance floors, a full-service late-night restaurant and cafe, and two rockin’, pulsing stages, DNA Lounge will magically morph into a dance paradise this wild night. We leave college kids with only one piece of advice: Uber exists for a reason. Use it after the last call for alcohol.
Sun, Sept. 8, 2019
9:00 P.M.- 2:00 P.M.
375 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
5. Welcome Back Rules! Back to School #PSBMEM September Educator Meetup
Okay, let’s get serious again. With this unique back to school event, that’s not nearly as boring as it sounds. In fact, it’s not boring at all, as it takes place in the makerspace. (In this case, we’re referring to the makerspace movement, which includes any event in which people with shared interests, especially in technology, convene to work on projects while sharing ideas, knowledge, and equipment. Did you get all that? Good.)
This particular kind of makerspace comes with all the innovative, non-standard equipment: laser cutters, three-dimensional printers, and various other technological devices that are currently revamping so many industries and hobby spaces.
Few high school and college students couldn’t use a resource swap with other students and educators in time for the upcoming school year. This event is also for educators who are eager to gain new resources and learn new skills and concepts relevant to their subject material. The particular focus of this event is to help educators and groups set up rules for their own makerspaces (i.e., classrooms, workshops, ect.). In other words, the goal for everyone to set up a framework of guidelines for students and educators to function within.
Let’s take a brief moment to talk about educators and what’s expected of them on a continual basis. Educators have the weighty responsibility of inspiring diverse groups of students each year, most of whom learn in different ways and have varying interests, in a technologically advancing world. Exciting, innovative back to school events like this one help keep them on the cutting edge of the skills, technology, and critical thinking abilities students need as they prepare to advance into the professional world.
On the agenda at this back to school event: Informal networking, a quick tour for newcomers, and resource sharing (in which attendees share their own examples of rules). Next, there will be an interesting group exercise that focuses on the history, myths, and mysteries of the maker movement and maker education. The event will also give attendees an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how they’ll put what they’ve learned to practical use in classrooms.
The event will be hosted by a group called Peninsula South Bay Maker Educators. The group hosts monthly meetings or events, which are posted to the Bay Area Maker Educators’ Google Plus group, as well as local networks such as Resource Area for Teachers. You can find them on Peninsula South Bay Maker Educators Meetup, #PSBMEM LinkedIn Group, or Bay Area Maker Educators Google Group.
Thurs., Sept. 19, 2019
5:30 P.M.- 8:00 P.M.
Krause Center for Innovation
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
6. Back to School at Forest Home Farms
History buffs rejoice: Back to School at Forest Home Farms travels back in time to student life in the early 1900s! Think only a few years of formal schooling, only the most basic math and grammar skills, and one-room schoolhouses staffed by teachers with little to no formal training! If kids’ first response to that is how lucky their predecessors were, all the more reason this back to school event will be an eye-opening learning experience about the cultural and educational history of America. As the changing economy meant that graduating students would be ill-prepared to work for emerging large industrial corporations, the education dynamic evolved- and continued to do so for the next hundred or so years, as it still does today!
It’s well-known that many children learn best by play and hands-on experience, which is why we adore this event. It allows them to experience the way things were in a simulation of history will spark their natural curiosity.
Fun fact: Forest Home Farms, originated in the Boone family in 1900, and was donated to the city as a municipal historic park in 1997. Okay, that fact wasn’t so fun, but it leads up to one that is: Forest Home Farms was recently patch.com’s park of the week. The park’s original home structures, vintage equipment, and fertile green fields, described by Patch in detail, paint the perfect picture of 1900s rural school life.
Sat., Aug. 24, 11 A.M.- 2 P.M.
Forest Home Farms Historic Park
19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon, CA
7. Back to School Essentials: De-stress with a Perfect Essential Oils Blend
Self-care is an important, overlooked part of growing up and going to school. We love events that recognize that it shouldn’t be overlooked, and try to meet students’ needs to relax, feel grounded and centered, and maintain their wellness. Essential oils have many positive health benefits, including boosting energy, aiding in digestion, providing stress relief, helping with focus, and helping treat skin, sinus, and other physical problems.
Well, this back to school event teaches its young students all about various essential oils and their benefits. Essential Oils expert Justine Hinderliter will teach the kids various de-stressing techniques that will help them self-soothe and ground themselves through stressful moments during the school year.
Hinderliter will also help the kids make natural hand sanitizer from, a soothing essential oil mix for classroom and home diffusers, and an energizing combination that improves focus during study time.
Thurs., 7:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M.
The Collab SF
1603 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA
8. Youth Back to School Brunch
On Aug. 31st, the San Mateo County Pride Center is hosting a back-to-school brunch. As the very first LGBTQ+ center in San Mateo County, the Pride Center is a resource for community building, educational programs, and mental health services. But for this back to school event, it’s just a friendly, inclusive environment where older kids and college students can relax and have fun in a positive space for everyone. (Of course, if you’re interested in finding out more about the Pride Center or getting information about its resources, you’re happily invited to do so on this day and any other!)
Sat., Aug. 31st
San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA
9. 6th Annual Back to School Car and Motorcycle School Supply Drive
The entry fee to this exciting back to school event is any number of school supplies you’d like to donate! When you donate upon admission, you’ll be invited to take a guided tour of the dazzling car show and manufacturing process- an awesome learning experience for car connoisseurs (and enthusiasts) of all ages. Attendees will take home raffle prizes and unique, handcrafted trophies to remember the event by.
Bonus points for this antique adventure: Snowie Snowcones of Napa will be serving up icy deliciousness all day long!
Sat., Sept. 7th, 2019
8:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M.
2400 Huntington Drive, Fairfield, CA 94533
10. MakeArt Family Day: Back-to-School
Museum Craft Design presents this month’s MakeArt Family day, which is dedicated to helping students personalize all of their school supplies! Mixing creativity with practical and sustainability skills, this event invites families along to help their kids discover hidden gems along an exhibition called Dead Nuts: A Search for the Ultimate Machined Object. After exploring the exhibit and gathering materials, kids will get to work putting their own creative, personalized spin on average school supplies?
The event page, featured on MCD’s website, suggests designing a backpack zipper pull from machine parts, encrusting a pencil carrier with “pave diamonds”, or using electronic parts to customize notebooks- to name just a few funky, eclectic ideas that will be the talk of the school on the first day, in a good way.
To top it all off, take home a swag back with extra swag- you’ll be decorating it yourself with a magnetic design. There’s always something thrilling about creating items that are uniquely yours- and these can be put to good practical use throughout the entire school year!
Sat., Sept. 7th, 2019
11:00 A.M.- 3:00 P.M.
Museum of Craft and Design
2569 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA