2019 Parent Conference

The 2019 Parent Conference and School Council Training Day was held on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School.

This year we changed the structure of the event based on feedback from previous years. Many parents had expressed concern about having to choose between workshops which are of interest to them as parents, and workshops which support them in their school council role. Keeping this in mind, we divided the day into two parts – the Parent Conference in the morning and the School Council Training in the afternoon.

The morning session began with our Keynote Speaker - 
Dr. Laura Markham with parent workshops following on a wide range of issues.

  • Dr. Laura Markham is the author of the best-selling parenting books:
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life
  • The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids WORKBOOK

Her books continue to rack up five star reviews on Amazon as parents attest to the power of her peaceful parenting approach of connection, emotion coaching and parental self-regulation. Dr. Laura is also the founding editor of AhaParenting.com, an extensive website serving up Aha! Moments to parents of babies through teens. A leading advocate for parents and children, she makes frequent TV and radio appearances and has been featured in thousands of publications from Parents Magazine to the Wall Street Journal.

Earning her PhD in clinical psychology at Columbia University was just the
beginning of her education as a psychologist, says Dr. Laura. Becoming a mother convinced her that parents need more support. Her aspiration, she says, is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents.

Parent Workshops (Morning session)
The topics for the workshops are listed below. Participants had the opportunity to attend 2 workshops.

  • How to get kids cooperating without yelling, threats, bribes or punishment? (Dr. Laura Markham)
  • Smartphones and Social Media (Ottawa Police Services)
  • When Technology Takes Over (Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services)
  • Vaping - What is it, how to parent it? (Ottawa Public Health)
  • Supporting Your Child in Math (Program and Learning, OCDSB)
  • Understanding and Accessing Special Education Supports (Learning Support Services, OCDSB)
  • Welcoming Newcomer Families into Caring Schools: A Whole School and Community Approach (Family Reception Centre, OCDSB)
  • Connecting Learning to Life (Innovation and Adolescent Learning, OCDSB)
  • Developing self-regulation in children (Learning Support Services, OCDSB)
  • Parent-Child Connection (Learning Support Services, OCDSB)

School Council Training (Afternoon Session)
This afternoon session was a two-hour session with parents who were interested in School Council related topics.  We used ThoughtExchange to help us learn what’s most important to everyone and used this information so that we could have relevant subject matter experts to lead the discussions during the session. We also used the information that was shared through this Thoughtexchange to build content for the School Council Newsletters over the course of the year.






How to get kids cooperating without Yelling, Threats, Bribes or Punishment – Keynote: Dr. Laura Markham

Why children misbehave -- and how to help them WANT To Cooperate without yelling, threats, bribes or consequences

Why yelling and timeouts actually cause more misbehaviour What research shows about how children develop self-discipline





Vaping What is it and How to Parent it - Carrie Innes, Ottawa Public Health

E-cigarette use (vaping) among Ottawa’s youth has surpassed tobacco use. We can no longer ignore the fact that there is a lot of hype around this new and unsettling trend among youth. This session, delivered by Carrie Innes (Public Health Nurse with Ottawa Public Health), will provide parents with facts on vaping, vape products, health effects and what we are seeing every day in schools. A candid presentation on what youth are saying combined with the facts will help parents to have an open talk at home.



Smartphones and Social Media - Constable Cory McAree and Constable Kevin Williams, Ottawa Police Services

OPS will discuss the social and criminal consequences of poor choices made on the internet. They will go over some of the trending applications and websites that youth are using to connect with friends and others online. Also, there will be some tips and resources for parents/guardians/caring adults to help protect our youth from these dangers while on the web.




When Technology Takes Over - Liz Parsons, Rideauwood Addictions and Family Services

The concern around the use of technology in the teen population has risen exponentially over the past few years. In this session, Rideauwood Managers Liz Parsons and Matt Young provide a parent review of clinical approaches to technology use, and real-time support resources for families dealing with the associated behaviours of this use. From social networks, gaming and

texting, Rideauwood will speak about the signs to watch for and tools to use in supporting youth using technology appropriately.



Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescence - Dr. Gillian Stanley, Kiri Legg

– Learning Support Services, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Self-regulation has become a focus for children in both elementary and secondary schools, and has been shown to be an important predictor of success. This session will provide a deeper understanding of behaviour from a self-regulation and biological perspective. Join Dr. Gillian Stanley and Kiri Legg as they provide you with strategies to help you support your child’s skills at home.






The Parent-Child Connection - Emily Balla, Kim Kramer, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Parenting today can be a wonderful and exhausting journey. As parents, we often feel pressured to ensure that our children are prepared for whatever challenges come their way. Traditional approaches to parenting, however, can often leave us (and our children) feeling disconnected and discouraged. This presentation will look at how new approaches to parenting centre on what we can do to build resilience and strength in our children by focussing on the one thing that matters the most, the parent-child connection.



Supporting Your Child in Math - Nadia Towaij, Jane Alexander, Brent Smith, Jennifer Offord, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Parents play an important role in their child’s attitude toward, and success with, mathematics. This session will help you become familiar with the instructional focus of your child’s learning and will provide you with resources and practical strategies to support children in developing confidence and capability in mathematics.



Special Education - Understanding and Accessing Supports for My Child

- Peter Symmonds, Christine Kessler – Learning Support Services, Ottawa- Carleton District School Board

We’re here to help. Learn more about the people and resources available to help your child with special education needs.





Connecting Learning to Life – Reg Lavergne, Cam Jones, Lydia Hamilton

– Innovation and Adolescent Learning, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Students in high school have more opportunities than ever to participate in a range of experiential learning. Our goal is to promote collaborative environments which foster innovation and creativity; championing high

expectations for all students in all programs. This session will provide parents with an overview of some of the options available - including Cooperative Education, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP), Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), eLearning, and Dual Credit programs - which can provide students a range of real-world experiences.




Welcoming Newcomer Families into Caring Schools: A Whole School and Community Approach - Naya Markanastasakis, Sonia Manchen, Asma Jawed, Joanna Jackson Kelly - Family Reception Centre, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Have you ever wondered what the journey of a Newcomer family might be like? Perhaps you have personal experiences? This workshop will explore how OCDSB schools welcome and support English Language Learners. How do we establish and grow a sense of belonging for new students and their

families? Get inspired with suggestions regarding how to welcome and engage Newcomer families in the school community.


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