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Winter Family Weekend 2024

Welcome Parents/Sponsors!

We are excited for all of the virtual and in-person events that will take place from March 1-3, 2024, during Winter Family Weekend. We want parents/sponsors to engage with the Milton Hershey School community, equip themselves with new tools, and become more empowered to collaborate with Milton Hershey School.

 

Click on the plus signs below to view full descriptions of each event.

Family Weekend Passports

Qualify for a “free” weekend during March 1-3, 2024, by completing a passport. Attend one activity, get it initialed, and return it to your child’s houseparents.

Weekend Schedule

Download and print a condensed version of the Winter Family Weekend schedule to view events happening from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 3. Full event descriptions can be found below.

Campus Locations

We know that our campus can be overwhelming with directions. Navigate through the MHS campus with these locations and landmarks.

Family Weekend Resources

Family Weekend FAQs

What is a Family Weekend?

  • Family weekends are special weekends designed just for Milton Hershey School students and families.
  • Winter Family Weekend 2024 will begin on Friday, March 1 and end on Sunday, March 3. Students must return to their student homes or Transitional Living buildings by 5 p.m.
  • All MHS families are invited to join Milton Hershey School teachers and staff on campus to experience fun activities with their children, visit school buildings, see amazing student performances, eat meals together, and more!
  • Family weekends are an excellent opportunity to connect with your child on campus and meet MHS community members that are important to them.

Do we need to participate in all of the events?

  • Families are encouraged to participate in the activities they choose. There are no mandatory events.
  • We encourage our families to get involved, meet staff, and experience campus with their child. We also understand that schedules and distance may prevent some of our families from joining.
  • Some events are in person and others are virtual. If you cannot attend in person, please take advantage of the virtual options.

How do I qualify for a free weekend?

  • The passport system is an opportunity for families to earn a free overnight weekend visit by attending an on-campus event.
  • Download a passport (PDF) or see your child’s houseparents for a passport, or get a copy from a Milton Hershey School staff member at an event.
  • Attend any in-person activity on campus and have a staff member sign the passport. Turn your completed passport in to your child’s houseparents to have an overnight visitation that does not count as one of your allotted weekends.
  • Reminder: Passports only qualify families for a free weekend on Winter Family Weekend and must be used March 1-3, 2023. Passports are not valid for any other dates.

Watch this instructional video:

 

Can I bring other family members or family friends?

  • Yes, we welcome families to bring others along to visit with your student. This is a great way to show off your child’s educational and Home Life experiences.
  • While we encourage family participation, Sponsor Shadowing opportunities in all divisions are limited to adult parents/sponsors only.

Do all events require an RSVP?

  • Many family weekend events do not require an RSVP.
  • If registration is needed, it will be clearly marked within the event description.
  • Read each event description carefully to find out if RSVPs are needed.

Can I RSVP to MHS staff for all events or do I need to RSVP separately for each event online?

  • You must RSVP for each event separately. Milton Hershey School staff are not able to RSVP for you.
  • Many different departments on campus manage and host their events independently, so it is important that you RSVP or register for specific events.

Who can I talk to about ADA accommodations?

Milton Hershey School provides reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities at special events sponsored by the School. Questions about the accessibility of programs and events, and requests for accommodations at School-sponsored events, should be directed to Central Monitoring 717-520-2647 at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to the event. Please note that the School does not provide wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Parking and Directions

We know that our campus can be overwhelming with directions. We are providing Google Maps directions to parking lots of the main locations for Winter Family Weekend events.

Catherine Hall

Copenhaver Gym

Environmental Center

Fisher Hall

Founders Hall

Gertrude Gurt Family Center

Hammond Hall

Learning Resource Center

Memorial Hall

Project Market

Parent Portal Resources

The Parent Portal is where you’ll get an inside look at your child’s grades in school, activities, and life in the student home. You received your username and password for the Parent Portal on Enrollment Day. Please email [email protected] for assistance with your login credentials. Be sure to keep your contact information updated to continue receiving communication from the school.

Access the Parent PortalSteps for Signing In to the Parent Portal

The portal also has a smartphone app to help you stay connected when you’re on the go.

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

Virtual Activities

We understand that schedules and distance may prevent some of our families from joining us. Please take advantage of virtual options—both scheduled and on demand.

Class of 2024 Resources Page

Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Support Services for MHS Soon-to-be Graduates

A postsecondary planning resource for current MHS seniors and their parents/sponsors to learn more about the GPS Plan Process and how GPS reviews and approves a student’s GPS Plan.

Visual and Performing Arts: Show and Tell

The Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) program welcomes you to enjoy a visual presentation highlighting students and teachers engaging in educationally rigorous and reflective VPA activities.

View the Presentation

Virtual New Sponsor Seminar

Do you have a new student and want to learn the best ways to get involved with the MHS community? Join MHS Family Relations Manager Jay Garvey at 11 a.m. on Zoom along with other parents/sponsors who will share their family’s first year at MHS and offer advice for you.

Sign Up

Year-Round Experiences Summer Overview

Learn about the fun and educational activities happening on and off campus this summer. The MHS Year-Round Experiences program offers options for all divisions.

View the Summer Activities

Spartan Gear Sale

Browse the online store and snag some swag to show your MHS pride!

Shop Online
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Friday: In-Person Events

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Friday: Engage

At MHS, we work to foster a sense of belonging and build relationships through programs and opportunities for involvement.

Click on the plus signs below to view details for each event.

Friday Events

Senior Division Passport Process Support from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Would you like your Senior Division child to have the option to participate in International Learning Experiences? Schedule an appointment at the Learning Resource Center to begin the process of MHS applying for a passport for your child! A passport can be used as an ID for milestone events such as getting a driver’s license and being hired for internships, co-ops, and part-time work!

If you would like more information about the process, please contact Jessica Simpson at [email protected] or 717-520-2924.

Sign Up

Senior Division Sponsor Shadowing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parents/sponsors are invited to shadow their Senior Division student(s) throughout the school day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents/sponsors should report to the front office of Fisher Hall with their driver’s license to check in and meet their student(s).

RSVP to the main office at 717-520-2804 at least 24 hours in advance.

Please note:

  • This opportunity is limited to only parents/sponsors. Other family members, friends, and pets are respectfully asked not to attend.

 

Senior Division College and Career Counselor Walk-In Appointments from 9-11 a.m.

Meet your Senior Division student’s College and Career Counselor from 9-11 a.m. This is a good time to ask questions about academic performance, post-secondary planning, or course selection. No RSVP is required for this activity.

The following counselors are located in Fisher Hall:

  • Dr. Farrar-Freeman
  • Mr. Jones
  • Mrs. Manney
  • Mr. Speese
  • Mr. Zapata

The following counselor is located in Hammond Hall:

  • Mrs. Wascovich

Elementary Division Sponsor Shadowing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parents/sponsors are invited to visit their Elementary Division student’s classroom from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Memorial Hall and enjoy a presentation from the leadership team.

To sign up, email [email protected].

Sign Up

Please note:

  • All parents/sponsors must present a valid state driver’s license or photo ID upon entering the school building. Failure to present proper identification will result in the denial of access to the school building. Contact the main office at 717-520-2400 with questions regarding this policy.
  • Shadowing is for parents/sponsors only (no children, friends, or extended family).
  • Please do not bring flowers, balloons, or other gifts into the school building.
  • All cell phones must be turned off.

Middle Division Sponsor Shadowing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parents/sponsors are invited to shadow their Middle Division student at Catherine Hall, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parking is available at the bottom of the hill of Catherine Hall. A shuttle will provide access to the building.

Sign Up

Please note:

  • All parents/sponsors must present a valid state driver’s license or photo ID upon entering the school building. Failure to present proper identification will result in the denial of access to the school building. Contact the main office at 717-520-2600with questions regarding this policy.
  • Shadowing is for parents/sponsors only (no children, friends, or extended family).
  • Please do not bring flowers, balloons, or other gifts into the school building.
  • All cell phones must be turned off.

Life After MHS: Information on Support Services for your MHS Graduate from 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

MHS Graduate Programs for Success Division, Alumni Relations, and Social Work staff will be available during all Senior Division lunches, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., in the Founders Hall Dining Room to talk about support services offered after graduating from MHS.

New Sponsor Seminar from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Do you have a new student and want to learn the best ways to get involved with the MHS community? Join MHS Family Relations Manager Jay Garvey from 11 a.m. to noon at the Gertrude Gurt Family Center. During this seminar, you’ll discuss your new role and how to have a successful MHS journey.

Sign Up

Senior Division College and Career Counselor Conferences from 12-3 p.m.

Schedule a fifteen minute appointment with your Senior Division student’s College and Career Counselor. Virtual or in-person appointments are available between noon and 3 p.m. Discuss academic performance, postsecondary planning, or course selection.

Sign Up

The following counselors are located in Fisher Hall:

  • Dr. Farrar-Freeman
  • Mr. Jones
  • Mrs. Manney
  • Mr. Speese
  • Mr. Zapata

The following counselor is located in Hammond Hall:

  • Mrs. Wascovich

Graduate Programs for Success Meetings from 2-3:15 p.m.

Do you have questions about the Continuing Education Scholarship or support offered while your child is attending college? Stop by the Forum, located in Fisher Hall to meet with staff from our Graduate Programs for Success division.

Support Services for Your MHS Graduate for Parents/Sponsors of Juniors and Seniors from 3:15-3:45 p.m.

Learn more about the Continuing Education Scholarship (CES), higher education support, and continuity of care during this information session in Fisher Hall.

Spartan Spirit Store from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Spartan spirit apparel, created by Senior Division students, will be sold from our Spartan Spirit Store run by the Senior Division Student Government Association.

Visit the store in Fisher Hall by the front office.

Family Dinner and Activities from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Enjoy a meal with your family and interact with MHS staff and community partners from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Copenhaver Gym.

Activities in Copenhaver Gym:

  • Crafts and games with MHS students in our Education and Human Services career pathway
  • Photobooth

 

Visual and Performing Arts Production of “Matilda” at 7 p.m.

Join us in Founders Hall Auditorium for the Senior Division Visual and Performing Arts production of “Matilda.” Children and adults alike will be delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

 

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Saturday: In-Person Events

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Saturday: Equip

MHS provides parents/sponsors with knowledge, skills, and resources to support student and graduate success.

Click on the plus signs below to view details for each event.

Saturday Events

Spartan Spirit Store from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spartan spirit apparel, created by Senior Division students, will be sold from our Spartan Spirit Store run by the Senior Division Student Government Association.

Visit the store in Fisher Hall by the front office.

Winter Family Fun from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Year-Round Experiences and Learning Resource Center (LRC) staff invite families of all students to visit the LRC for winter family fun. There will be activities for families to complete together, along with food, books, board games, and more.

Founders Hall Visitors Center Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit the Founders Hall Visitors Center where more than a century of MHS history comes to life. This renovated Center features interactive exhibits, historical albums, and alumni awards/collections.

Project Market Open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visit Project Market, an Agricultural and Environmental Education program student-run business, for fresh produce, Spartan ice cream, goat milk soap, fragrance rollers, beeswax wraps, student art, and more! Enjoy a leaf printing activity during your visit to decorate cards to take home.

Family Lunch, Student Health Services Fair, and Bingo from 12-1:30 p.m.

Join us in the Founders Hall Dining Room for a family lunch.

While there, meet school-wide health services staff and learn more about the many facets of student well-being at MHS through engaging activities! Stop by the tables for each area of health to be entered into a raffle for a door prize.

Enjoy your lunch and stay for a game of bingo hosted by the Student Health Services team.

Family Center Open House and Community Service Opportunity from 12-4 p.m.

Families are invited to spend time at the Gertrude Gurt Family Center where you can also create thank you gifts for MHS staff during your visit.

 

 

Nature Scavenger Hunt at the Environmental Center from 12-4 p.m.

Join us at the Environmental Center for a nature scavenger hunt where you’ll delve into the mysterious world of animal pelts, skulls, tracks, and traces.

A Sweet MHS Afternoon from 2-4 p.m.

All families are welcome to join us at Copenhaver Gym for an afternoon of decorating baked goods, playing games as a family, and watching a movie. There will be prizes for the best decorated desserts, so make sure to bring your A-game and sweet tooth!

 

Visual and Performing Arts Production of “Matilda” at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Join us in Founders Hall Auditorium for the Senior Division Visual and Performing Arts production of “Matilda.” Children and adults alike will be delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

 

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Sunday: In-Person Events

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Sunday: Empower

MHS prioritizes the role of parents/sponsors as partners in the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive development of their child.

Click on the plus signs below to view details for each event.

Sunday Events

Chapel Services at 9 a.m.

You are welcome to meet up with your child and sit with their student home or Transitional Living building or utilize our visitor seating at our weekly chapel services on Sunday. A reminder that everyone must be seated 10 minutes before the start of each service.

Services by Division

Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join us for a delicious family brunch from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Founders Hall Dining Room.

Family Center Open House and Community Service Opportunity from 12-4 p.m.

Parents/sponsors and their families are invited to spend time at the Gertrude Gurt Family Center where you can also create thank you gifts for MHS staff during your visit.

Family Movie at 1 p.m.

Join us at Memorial Hall to enjoy a movie, starting at 1 p.m., with the whole family.

Winter Family Weekend Resources

Milton Hershey School grandparents raising grandchildren at family weekend.

Support Resources

We want to make sure you have everything you need to support your child and that you feel supported, too.

Milton Hershey School parents/sponsors at family weekend events.

Parent/Sponsor Blog

Read stories about our parents/sponsors who have shared their MHS experiences with us.

Milton Hershey School Family Relations team

Family Relations Staff

The MHS Family Relations team helps parents/sponsors build a supportive relationship with the School.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.