Parent University Information
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District 155
Prairie Ridge

Parent University Information 

6th Annual Parent University
February 22, 2014
Host School: Cary-Grove High School

Parent University is District 155’s premier event for current and future parents. With expert presenters from the community and district, Parent University provides practical information to help parents successfully guide their children through the high school years. The event is free and open to all current District 155 parents and those who will have a freshman in the district’s Class of 2018. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A detailed brochure and registration form is available here (PDF). Below, you can view course offerings and information about each session including a link to the presenter's bio.

Parent University exposes current and future District 155 parents to experts from the district and region on a variety of key topics. The 2014 Parent University features a keynote speaker, along with several break-out session options (detailed below).

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker
9:40 - 10:30 a.m. Session A
10:40 - 11:30 a.m. Session B
11:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Session C


Registration deadline:

February 14

Courses are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register today!

Registration Form

(Please be aware that your final schedule will not be available until the morning of Parent University. You will not receive a confirmation of your registration prior to attending the event.)

 Sessions & Speakers

2014 Parent University Courses


Keynote: Parenting in the Millennium

We are pleased to welcome back Dr. Michael Feld, our 2010 keynote speaker. Dr. Feld will speak about the challenges and rewards of parenting the current generation of teens. His discussion will focus on parenting differences between boys and girls, the impact of technology on today’s adolescents, and different parenting styles. Along the way, Dr. Feld will provide insights and strategies for raising healthy children while cultivating productive parent-child relationships.

 Speaker: Michael Feld, M.D.

A Day in the Life: Navigating the School System

A panel of District 155 experts including a guidance counselor, school nurse, dean, and social worker will walk parents through important issues faced by students. The panel will cover topics like how to help your student research post-high school options, access health information, and rebound from bad grades along with how parents can work cooperatively with the school to help your child. The panel also will answer parent questions.

Anger Management

When situations get out of hand, it can be difficult to control your own temper or disarm your child’s. This session will offer pointers on how to overcome the frustrations that can escalate to anger issues.

Speaker: Dan Blair

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This session will explore ADHD and how it manifests itself in the school environment. You will learn current assessment and treatment models, school strategies, and other tips to help you advocate for your child.

Speaker: Judy Fitzpatrick - Bio coming soon

Bullying Issues

Bullying is a persistent issue existing in and out of school. Here we’ll examine the causes for this behavior in both females and males and what you can do to discourage such behaviors in your child. The speaker will touch on activities and resources at school and in the community that may be helpful to you and your child.

Speaker: Voni Coombs - Bio coming soon

The College Process - Freshmen & Sophomores

A District 155 expert will provide guidance and information about the college process specific to the first two years of high school. Learn timelines and valuable information to help your child plan for post-high school educational opportunities.

Speaker: Matt Berg & Kyle McCaughn - Bios coming soon

The College Process - Juniors & Seniors

A District 155 expert will provide guidance and information about the college process for junior and senior parents. This will include available resources to help parents and students at the school, on the Web, and in the community.

 Speaker: Matt Berg & Kyle McCaughn - Bios coming soon

Dealing with Depression and Bi-Polar Disorder in Teens

Learn to identify and cope with disorders that may impact your teen’s life. The session will deal directly with these two conditions and touch on suicide education and prevention.

Speaker: Hal Fillian

District 155 Web Resources - Naviance

Naviance is an important online tool offered to parents and students. The resource includes information about career paths, college courses of study, scholarships, and other helpful information about applying to schools. A District 155 expert will walk you through the system.

Speakers: Meghan Kratzke & J.C. Brown

Financial Aid

As college costs continue to rise, funding a college education becomes more of a challenge each year. This session will introduce you to the basics of financial aid to inform you of the options that exist for you and your child.

Speaker: Leana Davis

Healthy Coping Behaviors

From eating disorders to self-injury, many adolescents turn to unhealthy coping behaviors. Healthy alternatives exist, and we’ll show you how to identify the unhealthy options and introduce new concepts to help your child deal with issues in his or her life.

Speaker: Angela Dampier

Healthy Relationships and Teen Sexuality

An outside expert will give you valuable pointers on how to communicate with your son or daughter about sex and setting healthy boundaries in relationships.

Speaker: Rachel Tack

High School 101

This question and answer session is geared toward current 8th grade, freshmen, or transfer parents. District 155 representatives will answer your questions about what to expect as your child transitions to high school.

Speakers: Missy Berg & Rebecca Saffert

Legal Issues at Home and on the Road

From unsafe new-driver tendencies to legal liability for parties hosted in the home, an expert will provide best-practice strategies and safety precautions to protect you and your student. The session will shed light on teen driving laws and other legal issues that may impact your family on the road and in the home.

Speaker: Mark Szumanski

Love & Logic and Effectively Handling Power Struggles with Children

Learn strategies to effectively manage power struggles and implement Love and Logic techniques for your home.

Speakers: Laura Jacobson & Shannon Levitt

Overcoming the Rigors of High School with Good Study Skills

Whether your child is moving from middle school to high school or transitioning to more advanced high school courses, the rigors and course load can become overwhelming. An expert on organizational skills and studying will help empower parents to help their student succeed in District 155 and beyond.

Speaker: Kurt Wagner

Parenting with Equity

Parenting is hard work. Add in multiple children and it becomes even more complicated. An expert presenter will discuss ways to discourage unhealthy sibling rivalries and encourage fairness and consistency in your parenting. This session was developed to directly address parent questions from previous Parent University attendees.

Speaker: Mark Myers

Signs & Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Use

Learn how to identify the warning signs of drug and alcohol use. The speaker will provide examples and talking points for how to communicate with your child about the dangers of abuse. This session also will discuss community resources to help combat drug and alcohol use.

Speaker: Rebecca Jaster

Surfing Safely & Other Internet Issues

As teens become more connected to the Internet and cell phones, new issues continue to emerge. An outside expert will explore safety issues including safe surfing habits, cyber-crimes/stalkers, and "sexting"—using a cell phone to share lewd pictures.

Speaker: Madelyn Burbank

Teens and Anxiety

This session will explore the many pressures our teens face today. Learn how to identify signs and symptoms of anxiety, treatment models, and how anxiety can impact your child in a school setting.

Speaker: Ashley Senderak