Annual Family Event

Our annual free family event is a fun opportunity for families and community members.

The theme for this year’s event is Parent Engagement for Innovative Education and Student Success.

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018

Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.

Location: Bluevale Collegiate Institute (BCI)

Sessions will focus on what parents and caregivers need to know. Attendees can chose from at least 15+ concurrent sessions that run both morning and afternoon:

Keynote speaker: 9 a.m. – Letting go of the why…the what is everything

  • Marsha Vanwynsberghe, Life Diversity Coach and Amazon #1 Bestseller with her book, When She Stopped Asking Why – A Mother’s Journey Through Teen Substance Abuse and Loving Path to Finding Her Clarity, Courage and Purpose.

Breakout sessions: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 12:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Choose from the following sessions:

  1.  Anxious brains: What our kids need us to know – Virginia Bateman:Participants will gain a better understanding of brain growth and development as well as what changes can affect brain, info about prescription medications and their effectiveness. Participants will have tools to consider change options and how to speak without words!
  2. Family math nights – Jodi Albrecht and Maria Lotimer: Participants will learn about Family Math Nights and how to continue to engage with their child to help math math fun, relevant and interesting.
  3. What parents need to know about EQAO – Kristen Phillips: Participants will learn about the Grade 3, 6 and 9 provincial assessments, administration and results from WRSDB Board Staff.
  4. SafeTALK (two-part training course) – Cindy Beneditti: Part of the education system goals involve supporting student and staff mental health wellness. Participants must register and attend both Part A and Part B to complete this 3 hour course as training to become a suicide alert helper.
  5. Fentanyl drug use in Waterloo Region – Benjamin Mikols: Participants will learn more from Waterloo Police Services Officer Benjamin Mikols about Fentanyl issues facing our community including: identifying Fentanyl, dangers to the user and more.
  6. Demystify the web: Engaging youth to become tomorrow’s digital creators – Stephanie Rozek: Participants will gain a better understanding of how to help their child manage the balance between tech and non-tech time and how to help them move beyond being passive consumers to being joyful creators for tomorrow.
  7. Empowering students and engaging parents through HERO and GEM – Avenue Road Public School: Participants will explore how parents and students can become empowered and engaged through posting hope, efficacy, resiliency, optimism, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (HERO and GEM) in their children. Presented by Board Staff from Avenue Road Public School.
  8. Google classroom – How it is used by teachers and students?Led by Board staff, participants will walk through examples of the effective use of Google Classroom.
  9. What’s going on in the classroom? Led by a panel of Board staff, participants will learn more about what teachers want parents to know to support them with student success.
  10. Equity session with LGBTQ focus – Deepa Ahluwalia: Participants will explore the dynamics of power and privilege and understand how the WRDSB is increasing its equity consciousness so it can truly support each and every student – especially those that experience marginalization, with particular focus on members of the LGBTQI2S community.
  11. Indigenous focus in the classroom – Nicole Robinson: This session will explore local Indigenous populations and how Indigenous focused  initiatives are being integrated into our classrooms and schools in order to support both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
  12. OYAP: Experiential learning opportunities – David Pope: Discussing experiential learning opportunities that provide students with skills for their chosen pathway.
  13. OSAP and scholarships – speaker TBA
  14. Mathematics in Ontario – James Francis: Parents will gain knowledge on strategies for supporting their kids and how to become active partners in meeting their children’s mathematical education needs. This session will enhance parents’ understanding of Ontario’s education system, the EQAO, and equip parents with the confidence and knowledge to interact with their children and children’s school, teachers and administrators. 
  15. Safeguarding your online identity – Cat Coode: It is hard enough trying to raise a child in any generation. We are now facing the uncertainty of the digital world, which changes faster than anyone can possibly keep up with. The internet is an amazing tool but there can be risks. The best way to support our kids is to gain an understanding of what kids are using and how it is being used.

 Closing speaker: 2:30 p.m. – Student success through real engagement from parents, family and community partnerships

  • Minister Bardish Chagger – Member of Parliament, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons: Don’t miss this closing keynote as Minister Chagger shares personal insights from growing up in Waterloo Region and attending WRDSB schools. This engaging session highlights the elements of student achievement and success that focus on the importance of strengthening key relationships in a student’s support network and educational entourage. 

About the Annual Family Event

On the first Saturday in April, the WRDSB Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) and the Waterloo Region Assembly of Public School Councils (WRAPSC) host their annual free family event for parents, caregivers and the community. Each year, the event centres around a new theme with the goal of encouraging parent engagement and supporting communication between parents and schools to enhance student achievement and well-being.

Is childcare offered?

Yes! Free childcare is available for children ages 2-11. Children do need to be diaper-free and toilet trained. Registration for childcare is required.

Is lunch offered?

Yes, a purchased lunch is an option available to attendees. If you would like to purchase a lunch, choose the lunch option when registering for the event. Lunch charge is $5.00 and you will pay on the event date when you check-in.

For more information on this event contact: