Student leans over to show parent how to use tablet device.

Parents Were Students For A Day

How tough can the life of a sixth grader be, right?

Parents of sixth graders at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School were invited to attend school in their child’s place on Thursday, October 3 to find out the answer to that question. Participating parents were expected to take notes, share in class discussions, eat lunch at the school cafeteria, and help students complete their assignments for the next day. While one parent replaced their child at school, the child was encouraged to attend work that day with the other parent, or to volunteer within the community. Parents pre-registered to participate in the event and attended a short orientation meeting to begin their school day at 8:10 a.m. They then followed their child’s assigned classes for the day, fully participating in all classes and activities.

Principal Brad Larson began the Parent Replace Your Child Day at Agassiz Middle School 15 years ago with both sixth and seventh grade parents, and transitioned it to Carl Ben Eielson Middle School sixth graders when the school opened in 2006. This is the seventh year the program has been held at Carl Ben Eielson.

Student helps parent with schoolwork on a laptop.Margie Erickson shared, “I was surprised how much algebra I remembered!”




Parent sitting at a desk, using a laptop to complete assignment.Brian Durben commented, “It’s nice to see the depth of technology being used in school.”
Student leans over to show parent how to use tablet device.




Charmel Howard (pictured far left) said she “felt rushed all day.”



Two parents sitting at student-sized desks.

Ray McDonald (pictured far left, seated behind Julie Johnson) encountered “no surprises” during the day, as this was the second time he has swapped places with one of his children for this event.





Dad standing in school hallway, holding a mobile phone to his ear.Rod Shafer snuck his mobile phone into the building (students are not allowed to use mobile phones during school hours), and managed to juggle work and school throughout the day.