So I saw the movie myself last night. It was very well done. I really hope this can actually result in change, and not just stay limited to some screenings that get people motivated but ends when the screening does. In case any others are following this, and are either interested in hearing about it or are thinking about proposing their school show it, I thought I'd answer my own q's:
Was it free? Yes
Did a good amount of parents come? (i.e. less than 10, or more than) About 150 at an expensive well regarded private school K-12
What do you think it showed you your kids school was doing or was not doing? It reassured me in our decision to pay to send our kids to a small private school here, since its quite a sacrifice financially to do it. It also made me realize I too want to be a bigger advocate for no homework. Luckily my kids school only ever has 1 thing to do for homework that often takes just 10 min, but I am thinking since even that is a struggle, I will ask the teacher if we can opt out. The school the screening was held at is a very pricey well known and regarded private school, and most of the conversation there was in support of what the school was already doing. I did hear comments about homework in high school taking kids until 1 in the morning, but from the discussion it sounded as if it was centered on kids in AP classes, which was another conversation in and of itself (that of the AP classes becoming a business). This school also reiterated that because it was an independent school, they are not confined to teach to the test, which is also how I feel about my children's school.
Was there a discussion afterwards? Yes, a long one ;)
If so was it facilitated, was there a panel or even 1 person who is an educational professional there to talk or answer q's, etc? There was a panel made up entirely of their school officials. Which obviously means it was slanted towards a positive view of the school, since the school honestly is doing a pretty good job already. Someone in the audience had been to 2 other screenings before this one though and mentioned that others have a panel with students from the school on it, and she said it was fabulous to be able to hear their direct thoughts on all of it.
Do you think any change came from the showing? I do think, from hearing the panel, they are trying to take a "no homework" approach more seriously, as well as ways to lower stress, but I'm not sure if it will happen. They did go out of their way to say it takes the parents coming up to the school to tell the teacher/administrator/etc if their child is showing signs of too much stress and pressure. When that happens, they will work together as a team to figure out ways to change it. However I don't think that was what the movie was trying to say. I felt like the movie was saying the entire approach to how we educate out kids needs to change period, not just putting band-aids on the kids who actually react to the system. The panel also seemed to be aware like I mentioned earlier of the driving forces behind the AP classes and don't want the AP approach to rule the school, and said the movie will help strengthen that resolve to not make every student feel as if AP classes are the only way to get into top tier schools. The discussion surrounding AP classes was a good one for me to hear, even if my eldest is only in 2nd grade. Many of the parents of kids who were in college already said they regretted allowing (or encouraging) their child to take too many AP courses. They wish retrospectively they had encouraged them to focus on taking AP classes in their interest area only for what they would eventually major in in college, because the workload and pressure in those classes is tremendous (even for very bright kids) compared to the standard level classes.