Registration is still open for the sixth annual Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) and the Waterloo Region Assembly of Public School Councils (WRAPSC)  free family event for parents, caregivers and the community.

The theme for this year’s parent conference is Empowering Students with Parent Engagement.
The conference will start with keynote speakers Royan Lee, a teacher, consultant and blogger and Yumi Lee, a student and entrepreneur. Bryan Larkin, chief of police for the Waterloo Regional Police Service will be the closing keynote speaker.

Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration opens at 8:15 a.m.
Location: Bluevale Collegiate Institute (BCI)

Session topics include:

  • Creative learning
  • Food: how it affects learning and behaviour
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • The power of optimism
  • Nurturing children’s interests
  • Postsecondary career coaching

Free childcare for children ages 2 – 11 will be provided for the day.

Register for the event.

For more information on this event view the flyer.

Schedule of Speakers

If you’re not learning together, you’re doing it wrong

Speaker: Royan and Yumi Lee (Keynote)
Time: 9:00 – 10:00am
Interest: All attendees
About: We live in complex, ever-changing times. Never before have we had this kind of access to a world of information, tools and spaces to create, collaborate and communicate. What does it take to thrive in a world where your children can learn as much about a topic or skill with a few clicks of a mouse or a touch of a screen? Father and daughter, Royan and Yumi Lee respectively share their storey of living, laughing and learning together in this great time to be alive.

Empowering Students and Engaging Parents through HERO and GEM

Speaker: Vista Hills PS Team Don Oberle, Paula Capa, Marcus Hoare, Ann Koenig and Melissa Stark
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:20pm
Interest: All
About: This workshop will explore how parents and students can become empowered and engaged through fostering hope, efficacy, resiliency, optimism, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (HERO and GEM) in their children. Vista Hills PS will share how the school’s foundation is built upon living and learning in a 21st-century culture of innovation and collaboration with a foundation of solid character and strong community. This interactive workshop will provide parents with opportunities to share ideas of ways to nurture these valuable qualities in their children and themselves.

Food: how it affects learning and behaviour

Speaker: Christine Gingerich
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: Very few parents and educators understand the powerful influence that dietary intake has over learning and behaviour. Discover the Top 10 Most Powerful Nutritional Tips for healthy bodies and brains. Learn about healthier alternatives for common ‘problem foods’ and be motivated and inspired by Christine so you and your family can attain optimal health. What YOU eat and feed your children matters.

Sketchnoting to creating, collaborate, communicate and think critically

Speaker: Royan and Yumi Lee
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45 – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: In a world where information and distractions are in surplus, and original thinking and attention is rare, we need to develop skills that help us to more of the latter and be less vulnerable to the former. Come to this workshop to learn more about and practice the skill of sketchnoting as a way of developing a habit to help us become the most creative and communicative versions of ourselves.

OK2BME – empowering kids through safe and open dialogue

Speaker: Silk Wash and Stuart Small (OK2BME)
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: Grades 7-12
About: This informative session provides parents and caregivers with information and resources available to help kids and teens wondering about their sexually or gender identity. Parents and caregivers will learn strategies for creating a safe and open environment to discuss these questions.


Speaker: Melissa Isherwood and Lisa Mulvihill – WRDSB staff
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:24 – 2:20pm
Interest: All
About: Part of the education system goals involve supporting student and staff mental health wellness. Learn more about safeTALK alertness workshops that prepare participants, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide alert helper.

Chromebook 101

Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: Grades 9-12
About: Learn how staff are using technology to support and improve learning and using digital tools for a blended learning experience. There are awesome ways students are empowered through the use of Chromebooks. This hands-on workshop provides insights for parents and caregivers to learn more about the Chromebook initiative in the WRDSB. Enrolment is limited to 20-25 participants as each parent will work with a Chromebook.

Helping your children with anxiety and mood management (practical skills)

Speaker: Dr Kerris del Rosario, with Iven Chung, M.Div. and Andrea Wiebe, MSW. (Del Rosario Psychology & Psychotherapy Group)
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: This workshop will provide practical tools and strategies for parents to use in helping their children and teens manage anxiety and mood difficulties, drawing upon cognitive behavioural (CBT) and emotion-focused strategies.

Nurturing children’s interests

Speaker: Susan Cranston and Maddie Cranston
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: Learn practical tips for helping a child identify interests, make educational plans and leverage available (free) resources. Mother and daughter team, Susan and Maddie Cranston, share Maddie’s story of taking an interest in water and sharks and how it led Maddie to become an ocean conservation warrior and youth leadership speaker.

Empowering your teen towards success

Speaker: Shellie Deloyer
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: Grades 9-12
About: High school students face essential decisions that will impact much of their life after graduation. Help empower your teen to make informed decisions and to focus on creating a life of both happiness and success. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of how to best support your child moving forward, specific strategies for having deeper conversations around school and careers, and successful tools for overcoming the challenges and barriers the are likely facing. Learn my best secrets for success with empowering and supporting our young adults.

Mindfulness 101

Speaker: Steph Van De Ven
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: Learn about the value of present moment awareness as this session walks you through mindfulness practices that support the empowerment of children. Discover ways that stress and anxiety affect children’s overall well-being. Learn helpful tips for combatting anxiety through easy to learn mindfulness exercises and proper breathing techniques.

Demystify the Web: engaging youth to become tomorrow’s digital creators

Speaker: Stephanie Rozek – Hive Waterloo Region
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: The constantly changing landscape of today’s digital world often creates challenges for parents: how best to navigate these technologies and what do they mean for your children? In this session, participants will have the opportunity to learn about what tools are available to help. You will come away with a better understanding of how to help your children manage the balance between tech and non-tech time and how to help them move beyond being passive consumers to being joyful creators of tomorrow.

Parent as Role Model: how to empower our children to build resiliency and flourish

Speaker: Nahla Kor
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: Grades 9-12
About: This workshop will focus on three areas: what empowerment means and how parents can foster the skills in their children; emotional intelligence attributes such as self-awareness, self regard, empathy, independence and managing emotional healthy boundaries; and how parents can be powerful role models by effectively communicating their needs, wants, feelings and concerns without causing relationship damage.


Speaker: KnowledgeHook
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm and 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Interest: All
About: A Waterloo start-up company that has created software used to help children learn math, by having them answer math questions and then analyzing the results to suggest teaching methods for individual children. The program is designed to support students with writing EQAO and learning math. This program is endorsed by both Toronto school boards and the Avon Maitland District School Board. It is being used by some innovative teachers in the WRDSB.

The role we can all play to empower a generation

Speaker: WRPS Chief Bryan Larkin
Time: 2:30pm – 3:00pm
Interest: All
About: Keynote speaker, closing remarks

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